October 26th, 2020

Changing story can’t sway judge


By Shurtz, Delon on September 18, 2020.

Delon Shurtz

lethbridge herald

dshurtz@lethbridgeherald.com

A young woman who pleaded guilty to several criminal offences had hoped changing her story in court would keep her out of jail.

It didn’t.

Savanna North Peigan was intoxicated when she was caught driving a vehicle Aug. 27 last year that had been stolen from a residence on the Siksika Nation Southeast of Calgary. She apologized Wednesday in Lethbridge provincial court, but tried to change her story when she realized she would have to spend more time in jail.

“I had no right to take their vehicle,” North Peigan said shortly before telling the judge she didn’t take the vehicle.

North Peigan, who had already spent the equivalent of 30 days in custody waiting to resolve her charges, was facing another 30 days in jail after pleading guilty to charges of possession of stolen property over $5,000 (an SUV), impaired driving, breaching release conditions, obstructing a peace officer, failing to comply with an undertaking, and two counts of assault.

North Peigan eventually admitted she was “stupid” for changing her story in a desperate effort to gain her freedom.

“I don’t want to be in jail,” she said before breaking down and sobbing.

North Peigan also asked if she could serve her sentence on weekends, but Crown Prosecutor Dawn Janecke opposed the request and said she was concerned the accused would not show up, which would lead to further breach charges.

The assault charges stem from two separate incidents, the first at about 8 p.m. on Oct. 7, 2019 when North Peigan, who is a client of Quest Support Services, was arguing with an employee. North Peigan struck the employee on the side of her head with her fist and then ran away.

The second assault occurred Aug. 21 of this year when North Peigan and a man were drinking together at a residence in Cardston and, during an argument, she struck him in the head, breaking his glasses.

North Peigan was charged with obstruction last November after Lethbridge police responded to an assault complaint. When they asked for her identification, she gave them a false name.

North Peigan was sentenced to 60 days in jail, minus 30 days for time previously spent in custody following her arrest. She was also fined $2,000 for impaired driving and prohibited from driving for two years.

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