A man who was involved in a 15-minute armed standoff with RCMP and escaped police custody has avoided jail time.
Wearing an orange prisoner T-shirt, 20-year-old Jordy Leschinski appeared by CCTV from the Saskatoon Correctional Centre for his sentencing hearing in North Battleford Provincial Court July 23.
The Crown was originally proceeding by Indictment against Leschinski, which is the more serious charge. Prosecutor Scott Bartlett, however, told the court that Leschinski’s parents offered to pay to send him to a drug treatment centre - The Village of Hope - in New Brunswick. Bartlett said that since the Crown had proceeded by indictment, Leschinski wouldn’t qualify for a Conditional Sentence Order (CSO) to be served in the community, allowing him to go to the drug treatment centre. So, to facilitate this, Bartlett asked the court to expunge Leschinski’s guilty pleas so the Crown could re-elect Summary Conviction, the lesser serious charge, which would allow him to serve a CSO rather than go to jail.
The court heard that at one point in April 2021, Leschinski was in an armed standoff with Biggar RCMP for about 15 minutes until Sgt. Dean Kabaroff arrived on scene and talked Leschinski down.
When RCMP arrested Leschinski he had a Winchester 94 on the back seat of his Dodge Ram. The Winchester had a bullet in its chamber, which had jammed.
At the time of his arrest, Leschinski was banned from owning weapons and he was already on a six-month CSO and six months probation for making death threats against two people in August 2020.
Bartlett told the court that Leschinski stole the Winchester from Chandra Harebek’s gun safe. Leschinski was staying at her rural residence outside of Biggar while he was serving his CSO and probation in the community.
Leschinski was charged with 19 criminal offences in April 2021. The court heard that on April 18, 2021, Biggar RCMP received a call from Derek Sigrid saying Leschinski had pointed a firearm at him and Chantel Hinse, threatened to kill him, and kidnapped Hinse.
Hinse, however, told police that she didn’t feel threatened when she was in Leschinski’s truck with him and a loaded Winchester on the back seat.
About two hours later, an RCMP officer found Leschinski’s black Dodge Ram driving eastbound on Highway 14, about 10 kilometres west of Biggar. Police didn’t activate their lights but Leschinski stopped his truck when he saw them.
The officer said Leschinski and Hinse were “non-compliant and argumentative.” He said Leschinski was “foaming at the mouth” during his interaction with him. The officer then became involved in a 15-minute armed standoff with Leschinski until the Sgt. arrived, talked Leschinski down and arrested him. RCMP searched Leschinski’s truck and found the Winchester under the passenger seat.
Leschinski was handcuffed, placed into the RCMP vehicle and taken to the Biggar Hospital. The officer left Leschinski handcuffed to his hospital bed while he went and talked to medical staff. That’s when Leschinski got out of his handcuffs and escaped the hospital.
He then stole his mother’s RAV 4. When his parents and another family member tried to stop him, he continued to back the RAV4 up, knocking over his parents and the other family member. They received bruising and minor injuries. The front wheel drove over Leschinski’s father’s leg. Bartlett said he received swelling and bruising on his leg.
A Biggar RCMP officer saw the RAV 4 going eastbound on Highway 14. He turned on his lights and pursued the vehicle. Leschinski reached speeds of up to 170 km an hour. The officer was unable to close the gap on the vehicle and called off the pursuit.
RCMP officers from Rosetown, Warman and Unity RCMP Detachments, as well as Saskatoon Police Air Service and the RCMP Police Dog Services, helped Biggar RCMP find Leschinski. They located him shortly after midnight on April 19 near Landis.
In May, Leschinski’s lawyer told the court she was filing an application to have him ruled Not Criminally Responsible (NCR) by reason of mental defect. The court ordered a mental health evaluation. Judge Lorna Dyck, however, didn’t endorse the NCR application after the mental health evaluation.
In April Leschinski was charged with escaping lawful custody, pointing a firearm at an individual, theft of a Winchester, possession of a Winchester without a license, having a loaded weapon in the back seat of his vehicle, having a weapon dangerous to the public, being in a vehicle knowing there was a firearm, possession of a firearm knowing it was obtained under an offence, possession of a firearm dangerous to the public, handling a firearm in a careless manner, theft of a vehicle, three counts of assault with a weapon (a motor vehicle), driving dangerous to the public, two counts of failing to comply with a no contact order, failing to keep the peace, and failing to comply with an order not to possess firearms and ammunition.
In June, Leschinski pleaded guilty to nine of those charges including possession of a weapon without a license, possession of a restricted/prohibited weapon without a license, theft of a vehicle, two counts of dangerous driving, three counts of failing to comply with a probation order and failing to appear in court. The Crown withdrew the remaining charges.
Bartlett told the court today that Leschinski has the ability to verbalize that he is going to change but lacks the ability to follow through with those commitments.
Degenstien told the court that her client has mental health and addiction issues, but added he is taking responsibility. She said he is a hard worker and graduated from high school in 2019.
When Judge Murray Pelletier asked Leschinski if he had anything to say, he replied, “Thank you for the opportunity.”
Judge Pelletier accepted the joint submission by the Crown and defence. Leschinski was given a two year less a day (729 days) CSO to be served in the community, with the first 10 months at a drug rehabilitation centre. He was also given a 10-year firearms prohibition. He can’t be in Biggar unless he is accompanied by his mother, and was ordered to take whatever psychiatric treatment directed by his probation officer.
During sentencing, Judge Pelletier told Leschinski that it’s not very often a person gets a chance to redeem themself and redemption is everything in life.
“I have no doubt you have the ability to grow from it and learn from it but it’s really up to you.”