Overruled plea agreement means 426 days in jail for Okanagan woman

The woman’s crimes took place between the Vernon and Penticton area

Bree-Anne Buhler was sentenced to 845 days in jail for separate crimes. (Western News file photo)

Bree-Anne Buhler was sentenced to 845 days in jail for separate crimes. (Western News file photo)

A proposed 210-day plea agreement between Crown and defence for a Penticton woman has turned into an 845-day sentence.

This week, Judge Gregory Koturbash imposed additional jail time for 25-year-old Bree-Anne Buhler for four separate crimes that took place between the Vernon and Penticton area.

As credit for time served, Buhler will spend 426 days in custody along with a five-year driving prohibition and two years probation upon her release according to Dan McLaughlin, communications counsel for the BC Prosecution Service.

In April of this year, Judge Koturbash said he was “uncomfortable” with the agreed-to a 210-day plea deal as well as the proposed one-year driving prohibition and one-year probation.

READ MORE: Sentencing delayed for Penticton woman caught vaginally smuggling drugs

At that time he said the sentencing needed further examination.

In April, Koturbash commented that Buhler had been on probation at the time of the November 2018, offences, which include flight from a peace officer, dangerous operation of a motor vehicle, possession of a controlled substance, possession of stolen property and driving while prohibited.

He has previously been outspoken in court about the growing number of flight-from-police officer offences coming before him.

“While I appreciate that perhaps we haven’t reached an epidemic problem with respect to police chases but they are becoming a lot more common. Evading the police, fleeing with drugs in your system, engaging in pursuits — all of which are extremely dangerous for our community,” said Koturbash at the time.

READ MORE: Woman in custody as RCMP investigate reckless driving near Peachland

The case he was referring to was the Nov. 6, 2018 incident when Buhler was spotted driving erratically in a stolen Ford truck, leading police on a chase reaching speeds of up to 100 kilometres an hour, managing to elude three sets of spike belts and a police roadblock before eventually being arrested.

After she became sick at the RCMP detachment, apparently overdosing she was taken to hospital where it was found she had several packages of drugs in her vagina including; heroin, meth and cocaine.

RCMP found a baggie and a scale on the front passenger seat of the stolen vehicle and 3.87 grams of heroin.

Reportedly when the initial jail time plea was presented Buhler had not yet been charged with a September 2018 chase involving police near Vernon which also involved hospitalization for ingestion of drugs.

Her other charges related to separate 2018 matters near Vernon including possession of stolen property.


 

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