November 27th, 2020

Woman sentenced to prison for crimes

By Shurtz, Delon on October 27, 2020.

Delon Shurtz

Lethbridge Herald

A woman who committed several crimes between February 2019 and August of this year will spend some time in a federal penitentiary.

Tracy Lynn Small Eyes was sentenced last week in Lethbridge provincial court to two years in prison after pleading guilty to numerous criminal charges, including break and enter, possession of stolen property and obstructing a peace officer.

Court was told Small Eyes broke into a residential garage on the northside Feb. 21 of last year, where she rummaged through a vehicle parked in the garage and stole a small purse.

The owner discovered the break-in after following a set of footprints through her yard, and police were able to identify the culprit through DNA they found on a juice box Small Eyes took from a fridge inside the garage.

Several months later, on Nov. 27, Small Eyes was caught sitting in the driver’s seat of a stolen pickup truck. The truck had been stolen while it was left running outside the owner’s northside home, and about 90 minutes later police were called about a possible drug-impaired driver who was passed out behind the wheel.

During a search of the suspect, police found pieces of tin foil with burn marks consistent with smoking methamphetamine, as well as other drug paraphernalia.

Three days later a man contacted police to report his minivan had been stolen. Small Eyes, police learned, had found a spare house key in the man’s unused mailbox and entered the home, where she found the keys for the minivan.

When Small Eyes was arrested on an unrelated breach charge and searched, police found a prescription pill bottle in the victim’s name and the keys to his vehicle.

At about 2:30 a.m. Feb. 13 of this year Small Eyes broke into a home in which two occupants were sleeping. A third occupant, who was not sleeping, heard glass clinking, and when he yelled, he saw Small Eyes flee through a sliding glass door.

“She took about $200 worth of cosmetics, as well as a tub of iced tea powder,” Crown Prosecutor Erin Olsen told the judge.

Four days later several citizens called police to report a female who appeared to be car prowling and was seen entering a pickup truck. She was arrested for mischief, as well as breaching a previous release condition that she not be in any vehicle without the owner’s permission.

Then on Feb. 19 a convenience store employee called police to report a group of people stealing from the store.

When Small Eyes was arrested she provided police with two false names. Police also found her with three credit or client cards and a driver’s licence belonging to another person.

The following month Small Eyes, who had been ordered by the court to stay at her mother’s residence in Standoff 24 hours a day, seven days a week, was seen rummaging through a neighbour’s vehicle. When police arrived they caught her as she attempted to flee though a fence surrounding a construction site.

In August, Small Eyes, who was still under a condition to remain in her mother’s residence, was found in Lethbridge rummaging through another vehicle.

“There was no harm caused to anyone physically in these cases,” Olsen said.

“Miss Small Eyes’ behaviour seems to be driven by a need to get money or property to sell for money to acquire additional drugs.”

Although Judge Jerry LeGrandeur expressed some concern the sentence jointly proposed by the Crown and defence is a little high, defence pointed out that Small Eyes requested the federal sentence so she can receive, through various programs, the help she needs for her addictions that she wouldn’t receive in a provincial jail.

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