Coldstream man gets 18-month conditional sentence for standoff

Kelly Blake Torvik, 33, pleaded guilty to five charges stemming from the February incident

A Coldstream man who pleaded guilty to five charges in relation to a 19-hour standoff with police in February is looking to turn his life around.

Kelly Blake Torvik, 33, was sentenced to an 18-month conditional sentence order by Judge Jeremy Guild in Vernon Law Courts Tuesday, July 24.

Judge Guild approved of crown prosecutor Angela Ross and defence Bobak Movassaghi’s joint submission that will see Torvik spend the first 12 months of his conditional sentence order under electronically monitored house arrest followed by six months with a 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew with his father, David Warren Torvik.

Related: Sentencing hearing set for Coldstream standoff defendant

“I just want to say how sorry I am for everything leading up to this situation. I can’t believe it came to that,” Torvik said to his parents who sat in the courtroom gallery as he wiped tears from his eyes. “I love you so much. Things are going to change for the better. I’m sorry, mom and dad. I love you guys.”

Torvik had previously pleaded guilty to five charges including one count each of assault, uttering threats to cause death or bodily harm, pointing a firearm, careless use or storage of a firearm and possession of a firearm without licence or registration. Those charges stem from an incident in February at the house of his mother, Anne Torvik.

Related: Standoff suspect facing nine charges

Kelly Torvik hung his head in his hands and cried as Ross read her submissions of the events that began on Feb. 4, 2018, when the RCMP responded to the assault of Anne Torvik, called in by the crisis line, while she was in hospital for a cut to her hand and bruises to her head.

“She told officers she had been assaulted and had a gun pointed at her,” Ross said.

At the time of the incident, Torvik, who has been involved with drugs since he was a teenager, had been living at home with his mother. Court heard that, approximately 24 to 36 hours prior to the incident, their relationship began to deteriorate and that Anne couldn’t tell if Torvik was using drugs or suffering withdrawal.

“She described to police that he completely lost it,” Ross said, adding that Torvik had damaged the drywall and broken four doors.

“His hostility increased to the point where he was blaming his mother for all the problems in his life,” Judge Guild said.

Anne Torvik went to hospital to be treated for her wounds after their altercation where she cut her hand on Torvik’s SKS rifle later seized by police. While she was in the hospital, Torvik sent several text messages to his mother.

“What is clear from them (the text messages) is he continued to reiterate that he wants to kill his mother, that he wants to kill himself by being shot by police, that he was someone in severe distress,” Judge Guild said after reviewing copies of the text messages. “He said he had two bullets: one for him, one for her.”

Court heard that Torvik remained in his mother’s house while police communicated with him over the phone. Road closures were put in place on Torrent Drive, Kidston Road and Cottonwood Lane for 19 hours while Torvik remained in the building. Torvik exited the house at approximately 1 p.m. Feb. 5 and surrendered to police. He has remained in custody by consent since his arrest.

Related: Firearm seized, charges pending in Coldstream standoff

“I’m not afraid of anything like this happening again. It was an isolated incident,” Anne Torvik told Judge Guild.

Ross submitted that Torvik had begun using crack cocaine and alcohol at age 17 and had been using methamphetamine shortly before the incident.

“He was clearly distraught by having to listen to what he had done because he has no memory of these events as a result of drug use and psychosis,” Judge Guild said. “It is imperative that Mr. Torvik gets help to deal with his addiction. Addiction is complex and it’s simple. It’s a disease. It’s an illness. Like any disease or illness, people need help to deal with it.”

Under Torvik’s 18-month conditional sentence order conditions, which persist through his 12-month probation following the sentence, Torvik is to not contact his mother except by email, text, telephone or in person in a public place and must immediately leave on her request or the request of a peace officer.

Anne Torvik, however, said she hopes those restrictions will be loosened over time.

“I know how committed he is with this being a real turning point in his life,” she said, adding that she wants to “gradually work to a normal relationship again.”

Torvik is also to abstain from entering his mother’s house, must not use drugs or alcohol, enter any location where minors are prohibited such as bars or pubs or any cannabis dispensaries, must not associate with anybody named by his conditional sentence supervisor, must not possess and drug paraphernalia, is to follow the conditions of any counselling he seeks should it not interfere with his sentencing or probation conditions and must not be in possession of any firearms or weapons for 10 years, among other conditions.

The crown entered a stay of proceedings on the remaining counts stemming from the matter.


@VernonNews
parker.crook@vernonmorningstar.com

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