Prison sentence for man who led Mounties on dangerous Coquihalla chase

Jail after wild police chase

A Kamloops man who led police on a wild chase that ended on the Coquihalla Highway has been ordered to spend nearly two years in prison.

Jeremy Orr-Hall pleaded guilty in Kamloops provincial court on Thursday to a string of charges including dangerous driving, flight from police, break and enter and mischief.

Court heard the 27-year-old was driving a stolen vehicle that refused to stop for police in Merritt on Oct. 12, 2022. Crown prosecutor Anthony Varesi said Orr-Hall drove into oncoming traffic, through a ditch and up on a curb to get away from Mounties, narrowly missing two spike belts while fleeing.

Varesi said Orr-Hall managed to get onto the Coquihalla Highway, where officers boxed him in and arrested him at a turnaround just south of Merritt.

“The accused struggled with the officers,” he said. “He had to be Tasered in the process.”

Orr-Hall also pleaded guilty to charges stemming from a May 9, 2022, incident in which he led police on a high-speed chase from Valleyview to Halston Avenue. He admitted to being under the influence of drugs at the time.

In addition, he pleaded guilty to charges connected to an Aug. 1, 2021, vehicle break-in on Vernon Avenue in North Kamloops and a June 2, 2022, burglary at a business in Salmon Arm.

Defence lawyer Cam Johnson said Orr-Hall had a difficult upbringing and is addicted to drugs. He said he has suffered from delusions and psychosis as a result of his drug use.

Orr-Hall, who had more than 30 prior convictions on his criminal record, expressed remorse in court and said he wants to get his life back on track.

“I just want to apologize,” he said.

“I want to be there for my daughter. I’m sick of going in and out of jail and I’m sick of drug addiction.”

Kamloops provincial court Judge Marianne Armstrong went along with a joint submission for a 21.5-month jail sentence. Once he’s given credit for time served, Orr-Hall will have a little more than a year remaining behind bars.

Orr-Hall was also ordered to pay $377.29 in restitution for damage caused in the Vernon Avenue break-in and placed on a three-year driving prohibition.

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