Murdered man had lengthy criminal record

A MAN who died after being shot in a Thornhill residence earlier this month had a long criminal record.

  • Sep. 24, 2013 5:00 a.m.

A MAN who died after being shot in a Thornhill residence earlier this month had a long criminal record.

Eric Cardinal, 27, had been through several court appearances this year for a string of criminal offences, his last day in court being July 17.

On that day, Cardinal pleaded guilty to a charge of assault causing bodily harm and was sentenced to 135 days in jail, one year of probation and to pay a victim fine surcharge of $100 by Oct. 17.

After his time already spent in jail was credited, 134 days, he only spent one day in jail. Charges of robbery, assault with a weapon and uttering threats from the incident at a local residence in January were stayed by the court.

Cardinal was wanted on other charges, including a breach and several assaults, when police issued a wanted poster with photos and names of Cardinal and two other men, saying they were armed and dangerous, in February.

On March 4, Cardinal was arrested in a restaurant parking lot on Keith Ave., said police in a release at that time.

The next day the charges of robbery, assault with a weapon, assault causing bodily harm and uttering threats were laid against Cardinal, said police.

On April 2, Cardinal pleaded guilty to a charge of assault and a charge of theft $5,000 or under and was sentenced to one year probation and jail time served of 29 days and to pay a victim fine surcharge of $100 by April 2, 2015.

On April 10,  Cardinal was sentenced on a breach charge to jail time served of 30 days and to pay a victim fine surcharge of $50 by April 10, 2014.

A second breach charge was stayed.

On May 9, he was sentenced on a charge of trespassing at night to 14 days jail time served and to pay a victim fine surcharge of $50 by May 9, 2014.

A charge of theft $5,000 or under was stayed by the court.

On June 19, he was sentenced for a breach  and spent one day in jail after he was credited for time in jail of 13 days. A charge of possessing a weapon for a dangerous purpose was stayed by the court.

And back in November 2008, Cardinal pleaded guilty to one count of robbery and was sentenced to 30 months in jail, with time credited of eight months, reducing his jail time to 22 months, and ordered to follow a mandatory firearms prohibition for 15 years.

Cardinal was found shot to death the early afternoon of Sept. 14 when Terrace RCMP  officers were called to Dobbie St. in Thornhill. A 29-year-old woman had also been shot.

The female victim was transported to Mills Memorial Hospital where she was listed in serious condition with a non-life threatening wound, said police at that time.

She was able to leave the house where the shootings took place and run to a neighbour’s, where she called 911.

An extensive manhunt began after a yellow pickup truck was observed leaving the Dobbie St. area of Thornhill.

The pickup was found abandoned on a rural forest service road in the Kleanza Creek area east of Terrace and Thornhill.

Officers from the Terrace RCMP detachment, the area’s emergency response team and a police dog and officer converged on the location. A helicopter was also involved.

Terrace RCMP then arrested a man shortly before 8 p.m. that day.

“RCMP soon located and arrested 29-year-old Travis Leslie Stephens, who was found down an embankment trying to hide from police,” said police.

“RCMP have confirmed that Stephens was known to the victims and the incident was drug-related. All individuals involved are known to police.”

RCMP vehicles remained at the Dobbie St. residence for several days as specialists examined the crime scene.

Stephens was charged with one count of murder and one count of attempted murder and appeared in Prince George supreme court Sept. 18.

He remains in custody until his next court appearance here in Terrace next month.

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