Anthony Cortez and Danielle “Deedee” Charlton are seen in these undated Facebook images. Cortez faces numerous charges after allegedly crashing a stolen vehicle near Hope on Sept. 11, 2017, a crash that killed Charlton.

Suspect in fatal crash near Hope charged in death of female passenger

Anthony Cortez sentenced in crime spree in Chilliwack court last August faces more serious charge

A man who allegedly killed his passenger in a crash in Hope in 2017 after a crime spree that went from the Kootenays to the Lower Mainland will now go to trial for that death.

More than eight months ago, Anthony Creed Cortez was sentenced to time served for a series of crimes in 2017 including robbing a jewelry store in Nelson and stealing an SUV, a pickup truck, and a motorcycle.

On Sept. 11, 2017, Cortez smashed a jewelry store window in Nelson and stole $30,000 worth of product. He then stole a Chevrolet Equinox that he crashed into a highway maintenance vehicle near Hope. His companion in the vehicle, Danielle “DeeDee” Charlton, died in the crash.

After a Good Samaritan stopped to help, Cortez stole his pickup truck and fled the scene.

Nine days later he was caught near Revelstoke after stealing a motorcycle and fleeing police. He tried to break into a cabin but was arrested after a fight with a police officer.

In Chilliwack provincial court on Aug. 27, 2018, Cortez was sentenced to time served by Judge Wendy Young. Nelson Crown counsel and Cortez’s lawyer N. Swartz agreed to a joint sentence of nine months in jail for the jewelry store heist. Swartz asked for seven months for the Revestoke crimes, essentially time served, while Crown sought 12 months to run consecutive.

Young agreed with defence submissions.

After handing down sentence, Cortez addressed the judge with an apology to the court and to the service members involved with his arrest.

“I put them at risk and heartache and I’ve had some time to think and reflect and I’m sincerely sorry to all of them for my actions,” he said, making no mention of Charlton or her family. “I stand before you today, you have my word that you won’t see me standing here before you again. I’ve learned my lesson and I want to move on with my life and be a good father for my eight-year-old kid.”

Cortez was also convicted of three breaches of court orders forbidding him from contacting Charlton and sentenced to 21 days jail. He was also charged with an assault on Charlton from April 16, but Crown counsel Michelle Wray ordered a stay of proceedings since the case could not be proven after the woman’s death.

Nothing more was said about Charlton’s death at the Aug. 27 hearing, but between then and now, Crown proceeded to lay charges. He now faces six more charges counts: dangerous driving causing death; failure to stop at accident causing bodily harm; theft of motor vehicle; occupying a vehicle knowing a firearm is present; and two counts of possession of a firearm without licence.

The case is scheduled for a one-day focus hearing on Sept. 23 followed by a five-day preliminary inquiry running Dec. 12, 13, 16, 17, 18.

Unless he pleads guilty before ore after those dates, a trial will follow.

• READ MORE: Suspect in fatal crash, jewelry heist charged with assault

• READ MORE: Suspect in fatal crash charged in jewelry heist

– with files from Martha Wickett


@PeeJayAitch
paul.henderson@theprogress.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Chilliwack man killed in Honduras plane crash

Family member confirmed Patrick Forseth was killed Sunday morning

Multi-vehicle collision on highway in Chilliwack

Accident involves several vehicles, in the westbound lanes says Drive BC

Agassiz bus driver’s seatbelt petition heads to Ottawa

Gary Lillico is hoping his one-month petition will make a mark on the House of Commons

Terry Fox Run volunteer organizer needed for Chilliwack

An ‘astounding’ $367,000 has been raised at the Chilliwack event over the years, say run officials

Lower than normal snowpack means low flood hazard for Chilliwack

Low risk is barring any prolonged heat or rain, which might change things

Structure fire destroys Surrey tire shop

RCMP have closed Fraser Highway down to traffic from 152 Street to 88 Avenue

‘Teams that win are tight’: B.C. Lions search for chemistry at training camp

The Lions added more than 50 new faces over the off-season, from coaching staff to key players

Rescue crews suspend search for Okanagan kayaker missing for three days

71-year-old Zygmunt Janiewicz was reported missing Friday

B.C. VIEWS: Reality of our plastic recycling routine exposed

Turns out dear old China wasn’t doing such a great job

Structure fire destroys Surrey tire shop

RCMP have closed Fraser Highway down to traffic from 152 Street to 88 Avenue

Carbon dioxide at highest levels for over 2.5 million years, expert warns of 100 years of disruption

CO2 levels rising rapidly, now higher than at any point in humanity’s history

Man dies after being hit by car in East Vancouver

The driver involved is cooperating with police

B.C. ferry stops to let black bear swim past near Nanaimo

Queen of Oak Bay brakes for wildlife in Nanaimo’s Departure Bay

Mother dead, child in critical condition after carbon monoxide poisoning at Shuswap campground

The woman was found unresponsive insider her tent and the youth was taken via air ambulance to hospital

Most Read