December 5th, 2020

Man pleads guilty to charges stemming from garage break-in

By Shurtz, Delon on November 10, 2020.

Delon Shurtz

lethbridge herald

Eric Smith must have been looking for something a little sportier when he traded in the Ford F150 for the Jaguar The problem is, he had stolen both of them.

Smith, while driving the F150, drove up to a rural residence near Coaldale Oct. 26, 2019, and used the truck to ram a garage door. He damaged the door enough that he was able to crawl under the door and steal the Jaguar

Smith pleaded guilty Friday in Lethbridge provincial to single charges of break and enter and breach of probation. He also pleaded guilty to two charges of possession of stolen property in relation to the truck and a stolen licence plate that was attached to the truck. At the time of the offences, Smith was on probation with a condition he not be behind the wheel of a motor vehicle.

Smith, who appeared in court by closed-circuit TV from the Lethbridge Correctional Centre, was sentenced to 11 months in jail, concurrent to a two-year sentence – minus credit for time served – to which he recently received after pleading guilty to similar charges in Calgary.

Smith’s sentence last week was jointly recommended by the Crown and defence, who had been discussing resolution for several months. Crown Prosecutor Adam Zelmer said the Crown had a strong case had the matter gone to trial, but noted some of the evidence was circumstantial and would have required a week-long trial and many witnesses.

Calgary lawyer Robin McIntyre told court her 24-year-old client has been homeless since he was about 15 and had been beaten by his father. Despite his hardships, McIntyre said Smith is accepting responsibility for his actions.

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