Guilty pleas in chase episode

Kathy Michaels

Black Press

Two of the three people who led Okanagan Mounties on a high-speed, bullet-riddled chase in 2012 pleaded guilty to the roles they played in the dramatic episode.

Crown Counsel Murray Kaay said Shawn Adam Wysynski pleaded guilty to robbery with prohibited firearm and attempted robbery with prohibited firearm. Ashlee Collins pleaded guilty to knowingly being in vehicle where there were illegal firearms.

They will be sentenced in  September.

Meantime Michael Edward Ellis, the alleged gunman, remains behind bars and will start his trial that month as well.

He’s charged with several counts of attempted murder, several counts of robbery and weapons offences.

The episode happened on Westside Road on July 31, 2012.

The one-hour chase that led police from West Kelowna to Vernon, via Westside Road, started when Mounties tried to do a routine pullover of a green Dodge Caravan.

The van sped away and within minutes, shots were fired from both sides. Unconfirmed reports have indicated that the van’s wheels were shot out, but they were able to continue their getaway by carjacking at least two others in their path.

Despite the drama, Collins was the only injured party from the danger-fraught drive, although police have said the members of the three detachments involved were on tenterhooks throughout it all, as they feared for the safety of their co-workers.

The maximum sentence for Wysynski is life imprisonment.

Collins could face a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.


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