Bowden escapee jailed for another 20 months

An inmate who escaped from a federal jail and who faces the possibility of being classified as a dangerous offender was jailed for another 20 months on Tuesday. Shawn Thomas Evjen, 46, pleaded guilty to escaping lawful custody when he appeared in Red Deer provincial court.

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An inmate who escaped from a federal jail and who faces the possibility of being classified as a dangerous offender was jailed for another 20 months on Tuesday.

Shawn Thomas Evjen, 46, pleaded guilty to escaping lawful custody when he appeared in Red Deer provincial court.

Evjen also faces a robbery charge in Leduc and if he is convicted, it would give the Crown more ammunition to have him classed as a dangerous offender.

He is already serving a 24-and-a-half-year sentence for armed robbery, assaulting a peace officer, wearing a disguise while committing an offence and possession of a weapon.

Evjen, from Rocky Mountain House, escaped Bowden Institution about 9:15 p.m. on Sept. 14 by first crawling under an inner fence and then scaling the perimeter fence.

He fled into nearby woods, sparking an intensive manhunt involving scores of police and Corrections Canada Service officers who scoured the prison, woods and the Town of Bowden.

Evjen was recaptured about two weeks later by Edmonton police during a traffic stop after they had received a tip, Judge Jim Mitchell heard.

Crown prosecutor Maurice Collard told court that Evjen had two previous escapes since he was first jailed in 1985 for robbery.

He was also convicted in 1991 and 1998 for robbery. Each robbery occurred shortly after he was released on parole.

Collard said the Criminal Code allows for the Crown to apply for a dangerous offender status after a fourth major offence. Dangerous offender status allows authorities to jail a person for an indefinite period.

Court heard that Evjen was only released on parole in February of this year and then was charged with the Leduc robbery.

Collard asked for the maximum escape custody sentence of two years.

He said Evjen had good cause to escape because he faces an indefinite jail term if convicted for the Leduc offence.

Murray Shack, a Legal Aid duty lawyer, argued for a year in jail.

He said Evjen entered an early guilty plea, sparing a trial.

Mitchell said escapes from prisons “undermine the public’s confidence.”

He said the public is always alarmed when inmates escape because it doesn’t know how dangerous they are.

jwilson@bprda.wpengine.com

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