By Herald on January 6, 2021.
A Lethbridge woman who resisted arrest in a “spectacular and violent way,” has been sentenced to five months in jail.
Amy Leigh Etienne, who pleaded guilty last March to charges of failing to stop for police, resisting arrest and possession of stolen property over $5,000, was sentenced Monday in Lethbridge provincial court.
Although Judge Kristin Ailsby noted during the sentencing hearing that Etienne’s offences are serious, she also acknowledged the woman’s childhood trauma and resulting drug addiction likely contributed to her decision to try to flee from police Aug. 31, 2018.
Etienne was parked at the former supervised consumption site in a white Mazda that had been stolen from Calgary. A police officer who was at the site for other reasons, saw Etienne and, with the help of a security guard, boxed her in with their vehicles.
The police officer activated his emergency lights, but instead of surrendering, Etienne put the car in gear and drove at the security guard’s vehicle, repeatedly ramming it as she rocked back and forth in a futile attempt to escape.
The police officer was eventually able to reach into the car and remove the keys and Etienne from the vehicle.
“This is a very serious set of circumstances,” Crown Prosecutor Dawn Janecke said, reminding court that a Calgary police officer was killed in a similar incident when a car fled from a traffic stop New Year’s Eve.
Janecke said it was only by the “grace of God” that someone wasn’t killed when Etienne tried to escape from the officers.
“I am deeply sorry for my outburst,” Etienne told the judge.
She said she is trying to improve her life and hopes to get it back on track so her children can be returned to her.
“I am eager to get back to my children.”
Janecke pointed out the 30-year-old woman struggles with addictions and suffered from abuse and trauma most of her life.
Although sentenced to five months in jail, the judge credited Etienne with time she already spent in custody after she was arrested, which leaves her with only 26 days to serve. However, Etienne will also be on probation for 18 months, during which she must, among other conditions, stay out of trouble, attend court when required, and receive treatment and counseling. She is also prohibited from driving for one year.
Additional criminal charges of dangerous driving and assault, as well as Traffic Safety Act charges of driving without insurance and driving while suspended, were withdrawn.
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