Shot fired during take down of alleged armed Okanagan kidnapper

One of two main witnesses having memory problems in connection to alleged kidnapping

Further complications have arisen in the Supreme Court trial of Afshin Ighani, 46, who is facing 10 charges in connection with the alleged armed kidnapping of two people in April 2017.

At the end of proceedings Tuesday in the Penticton courtroom, Crown prosecutor John Swanson made application to Justice Nitya Iyer to have the main witness Jodie Walker’s videotaped statement to police entered as evidence of “truth of content.”

Walker, who was one of the two people kidnapped, took the stand Monday on the opening day of the judge-only trial, reportedly testifying she remembered little of the day she gave her statement to Const. Chad Jackson at the Princeton RCMP detachment other than leaving the building.

She was also reportedly asked Monday if she recognized the person (her) in the video statement that was played in court again Tuesday, to which she replied that she didn’t.

In the video statement, she appeared worried about reprisal by Ighani, saying she was fearful of him “getting out of jail and killing me.”

Related: DNA warrant pushes back Ighani kidnapping trial

At another point during her statement, Walker stopped, saying: “I think I’ve said too much.”

Her testimony came on the heels of the court learning Monday the second witness, Christopher Gliege — the man in the car with Walker and Ighani — is believed to have fled the country to the United States.

The justice has ruled however that his testimony in the preliminary hearing can be used as evidence.

After Crown’s submission, Burnaby defence attorney Paul McMurray said he’s opposing the application, adding that he would like the justice to consider the “differences” in Walker’s testimony Monday from her statement to police.

In her statement to police, Walker said that on the morning of April 22, 2017, the three set out from Okanagan Falls in Walker’s mother’s car on the way to the coast at Ighani’s request.

Related: Late DNA order may complicate Ighani trial on violent spree

She said Ighani reportedly told her to turn onto a dirt road in the Manning Park area, twice telling her stop, at one point firing a shot from a handgun over the head of Gliege, who he had made get out of the car.

In her statement, Walker said she feared Ighani would kill Gliege.

They eventually left Gliege behind and made their way to a trailer park in Princeton where RCMP eventually caught up to them and Ighani was taken into custody by RCMP K-9 handler Cpl. Jason Goodfellow and police service dog Harrow.

At the time Ighani was wanted on a warrant for attempted relating to an earlier matter.

Cpl. Sean Hall of the Penticton General Investigation Service (GIS) was riding with Goodfellow at the time and testified Tuesday about the arrest.

Once they located the car with the help of the RCMP helicopter, they attempted to pull it over. When the vehicle stopped, Hall got out and went to the car.

“I approached the white Cougar, I had my pistol in my hand. At that point I recognized Afshin Ighani sitting in the passenger seat, Mr. Ighani looked over to me,” testified Hall. “Mr. Ighani looked at me like that again, and in a very calm, cold, stoic stare. As he did that, he then looked back towards the centre of the vehicle and with an overhand motion with his right hand reached over top of himself, reached towards the centre of the vehicle. At that point, I believed Mr. Ighani, or suspected Mr. Ighani, was reaching for a gun.”

Hall then got up close to the vehicle just behind the passenger door and struck the passenger window “three or four times,” trying unsuccessfully to break the glass with the butt of his handgun.

“The vehicle began to pull away,” said Hall. “At that point, I made a decision that I needed to disable the vehicle and doing so I fired one round from my service pistol into the passenger side tire.”

Related: Alleged violent offender Ighani denied bail

The shot hit the rim, not the tire, and the vehicle then sped off, Hall saying the pistol malfunctioned and was inoperative at that stage.

Goodfellow continued the pursuit in the vehicle and Hall ran after them but Ighani was eventually caught by Goodfellow and Harrow.

A search of the Cougar by police turned up the gun that Walker, in her statement, said Ighani had in his possession and that he fired earlier in the day, in the engine compartment of the car.

That revolver-style handgun was entered as evidence Tuesday.

Walker, who was also scheduled to take the stand again Tuesday, was excused to go to a doctor’s appointment but was expected to be called again when the trial resumes Wednesday morning.


 

@PentictonNews
newstips@pentictonwesternnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.


 

@PentictonNews
newstips@pentictonwesternnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

True Leaf closes in on licence for Okanagan cannabis hub

True Leaf Cannabis Inc. says it expects to receive its cultivation licence by fourth quarter of 2019

Vernon student off to UBCM with council

Cadence Taron, a Grade 12 student at Fulton Secondary, applied to attend annual convention

Cora breakfast restaurant gets cracking in Vernon

The Montreal-based restaurant chain made its first grand opening in Vernon on Tuesday morning

City of Vernon to develop Civic Arena site into park

Planning process approved by council; construction to start in 2020 or 2021

Vernon RCMP superintendent helps with arrest

Supt. Shawna Baher arrests man for theft; turns out to be suspect in assault and robbery

VIDEO: Facebook rolls out tool to block off-Facebook data gathering

CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the “clear history” feature more than a year ago

B.C. rainbow crosswalk covered in mysterious black substance

Black substance spilled intentionally near Vancouver Island school and difficult to remove

Okanagan-Shuswap weather: Partially cloudy with a chance of thunderstorms

Across the Okanagan, weather is not expected to break 30 C

One pet unaccounted for after early morning Kelowna house fire

A Lakeshore Road home caught fire before 3:30 a.m. Wednesday morning

Coming home: Okanagan softball star returns after career-changing injury

Shayla Tyerman joins UBC Okanagan in their inaugural season in the WCSA

RCMP originally planned to arrest Meng Wanzhou on plane, defence lawyers say

The allegations have not been proven in court. Meng was arrested Dec. 1 at Vancouver airport at the behest of the U.S.

Bodies of two missing Surrey men found near Ashcroft

Ryan Provencher and Richard Scurr have been missing since July 17

Ethics commissioner ready to testify on Trudeau, SNC-Lavalin: NDP critic

A new poll suggests the report hasn’t so far hurt the Liberals’ chances of re-election this fall

Inflation hits Bank of Canada 2% target for second straight month

Prices showed strength in other areas, including an 18.9 per cent increase in the cost of fresh vegetables

Most Read