A lawyer for a pregnant Stettler woman guilty of fleeing from three police cars, reaching speeds up to 181 km/hr on Hwy 56 and through Stettler before crashing, pleaded with the court not to send her to prison.
Danielle L. Annable, 20, was charged with failing to stop for police, failing to remain at the scene, obstruction of a peace officer, possession of a controlled substance, careless driving and theft of a vehicle.
“She is committed to not giving birth in jail,” said duty counsel Mark Daoust in Stettler provincial court July 26. “I would ask the court to consider that.”
Annable wasn’t pregnant at the time of the incident and is due to give birth Nov. 22.
The crown asked for jail time citing denouncement of the crime and concern about public safety flight from police poses.
The court heard that on Nov. 17, 2017, RCMP clocked Annable going 136 mp/hr on Hwy 56. The officer tried to stop Annable but she didn’t pull over. Instead, she drove faster, 181 km/hr in a 100 km/hr zone.
A second RCMP unit joined the pursuit but Annable wouldn’t stop.
A third RCMP vehicle on patrol near Stettler was radioed to intervene as Annable approached the town of Stettler.
Annable drove down Hwy 56 that runs through Stettler and then went down an alley at high rates of speed before crashing into a power pole.
“Power lines were on the ground and sparking,” the crown told the court.
Annable fled the scene but was located in a nearby yard hiding under a vehicle. The police found a small amount of methamphetamine and marijuana in her purse.
Duty counsel Daoust said Annable’s father is supporting her. He added she was never a meth addict, only using it casually, and that on the day of the offence she was sober.
“She is looking forward to the birth of her child,” he said.
Annable blinked away tears as she held her head down while leaning against the wooden ledge dividing the judge and lawyers from the gallery.
“She was driving her father’s vehicle,” said Daoust. “She panicked and didn’t want to get her father’s vehicle impounded. She wants to get her life back.”
Annable apologized to the court.
“I’m really sorry. I panicked. Now I just want to get my life on track so I can take care of this kid.”
Judge J. Holmes said flight from police is serious.
“Some people are getting 12 months to 18 months.”
Judge Holmes also said driving down a back alley at a high rate of speed won’t be tolerated and puts lives at risk.
He said the nature of the pursuit would require prison but said he was taking the early guilty plea into consideration and the fact that her father, who was in court supporting her, is standing by his daughter. Judge Holmes sentenced Annable to six months house arrest and one-year driving prohibition.
“In your case, well your dad is still sticking with you. It’s his car. At least he sees something that is worth continuing giving support.”