One of Okanagan Correctional Centre’s inmates will be spending more time in jail, 400 days in fact, after he pleaded guilty to assaulting multiple correctional officers.
Jesse Grant McMullen, born in 1995, appeared in Penticton Court on June 29 to enter a guilty plea to the assaults, which occurred on two different days and involved a total of four corrections officers in May 2023.
McMullen was in OCC serving out his sentence for a number of crimes he committed in 2022, including theft of a motor vehicle and assaulting a police officer in Nanaimo in November 2022, an assault in October 2022 in Saanich, and breaking and entering to commit an indictable offense in Nanaimo in April of 2022.
Those charges were dealt with in December, 2022, with a 529-day total sentence that landed him in Oliver’s prison. According to the judge, he has about 11 months remaining in that sentence. With the additional charges against the officers, McMullen will now be heading to federal prison.
“Mr. McMullen has a record that is both lengthy and significant,” said the judge. “It is a record that has numerous convictions for violent offences, including assault causing bodily harm, and robbery convictions.”
Defense noted in their submission to the judge that they were asking for a higher sentence for McMullen than what Crown had initially offered because McMullen wants to be in a federal facility.
The first assault involved McMullen picking up a chair and floor sign and tossing them at a seated officer in the common area, both missing, before eventually jumping over the staff desk to punch the officer in the head.
The next day, McMullen was denied the use of the yard over the incident, and grabbed a stack of chairs and threw them towards the three officers behind the staff desk that day. None of them were hit or injured by the chair.
Following the joint submission, the judge sentenced McMullen to 731 days in jail, just enough to put him over the two year mark to qualify for a federal facility.
That sentence is set to be concurrent with his previously remaining 331 days. The judge had questioned why Crown and defense were proposing 731 days when only 400 would effectively be added onto McMullen’s sentence.
It came down to the program availablity that a lengthier federal sentence will allow him.
“In the provincial system they have no programs, right now they have no staff. I’ve been in the provincial system now for over nine months and I haven’t been offered one program,” McMullen told the court. “But I want to rehabilitate, and I want the opportunity for programs, the steps towards rehabilitation.”
The judge ended up going with the requested sentence, while noting that it was higher than what they might have otherwise imposed.
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