May 26th, 2017

Woman sentenced to 2.5 years in prison

By Shurtz, Delon on January 11, 2017.

Delon Shurtz

Lethbridge Herald

A Lethbridge woman, who until last year had few brushes with the law, has been sent to prison after committing a series of crimes in only a few months.

Alyssa Chantel Krushel pleaded guilty Tuesday in Lethbridge provincial court to more than two dozen offences, some involving a driving rampage, for which she was sentenced to two and a half years in a federal penitentiary.

The rampage began in November of last year after Krushel, on separate occasions, drove away in two vehicles that had been left running while their drivers were inside businesses. A police officer attempted to stop Krushel while she was driving one of the vehicles but she sped off through a residential area.

Later in the month she and another person had been at a restaurant and left without paying. As they fled in a white car, Krushel drove through red traffic lights and collided with a couple of vehicles, and failed to remain at the scene of the accidents.

Krushel was finally arrested after police were notified that a stolen vehicle was seen at a bank. An officer saw Krushel get into the car and followed her to a restaurant where she parked. The officer pulled in behind her car and approached the driver’s side window to make an arrest, but Krushel backed up, causing the side mirror to strike the officer, and collided with his car. She then drove forward onto a sidewalk and fled, during which she was struck by another police car.

Krushel sped down Mayor Magrath Drive South where she caused a multi-car pileup and was finally arrested. A search of the vehicle uncovered several stolen items, including other people’s identification cards, and a small amount of methamphetamine.

Court was told Krushel’s spree of offences actually began June 16 of last year when she used fake identification to buy three cellphones at a Lethbridge store. Later the same month she deposited into her bank account two cheques totalling $500 that had been stolen from a motor vehicle.

The following month she used, on multiple occasions, credit cards that had been reported stolen from a motor vehicle, and on another occasion she attempted to cash a cheque that had been stolen from a woman’s purse.

She also stole a number of cosmetics from a beauty supply store, and about $300 worth of goods from a hair salon, and she was caught in possession of a stolen licence plate, which she had put on the stolen vehicle that was involved in the collisions.

Crown prosecutor Vaughan Hartigan pointed out Krushel had no criminal record to speak of until April 2016 when she embarked on her crime spree, which was likely fuelled by a serious drug addiction. He added Krushel never tried to excuse or hide her actions after she was arrested.

“Miss Krushel was exceedingly co-operative and told (police) about everything,” Hartigan said.

Defence lawyer Scott Hadford agreed and said that despite her addiction, and the fact both her parents are in jail, Krushel had done well until her life spun out of control.

In addition to her prison sentence – which was reduced by two months for pre-disposition custody – Krushel is prohibited from driving for two years following her release, and she must submit a sample of her DNA for the National DNA Databank.

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