Steven Vanbuskirk pleaded guilty to fraud of over $5,000, but failed to appear at his sentencing hearing July 8, telling his lawyer he couldn’t get a ride to the Western Communities Courthouse in Colwood.
It wasn’t the first time the court had to reschedule.
The judge was not impressed, and instead of granting another adjournment in the case, she issued a warrant for Vanbuskirk’s arrest.
“You can see the pattern, right?” Judge Lisa Mrozninski asked defence counsel. “Especially with the history and the record. This is a serious charge. I’m not buying it this time. I don’t accept that he couldn’t be here today. It has been excuse on top of excuse on top of excuse.”
Defense lawyer Roberto Alberto told the Gazette his client is seeking a probational sentence that would not land him in jail, but that Crown counsel is asking for three to four years’ detention.
The sentencing hearing will be rescheduled, and in the meantime Alberto guessed Vanbuskirk will likely turn himself in. He has the option then of applying for bail, which a judge may or may not grant. Alternatively, he could stay in custody until the sentencing hearing can be held.
Vanbuskirk has previously been found guilty of possession of stolen goods under $5,000, identify theft, fraud of under $5,000, possession of a controlled substance and several breaches of probation.
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