Escapee will plead guilty
The prolific offender accused of fleeing a prisoner work group last month before living in hiding for more than a week will plead guilty to a charge of escape lawful custody.
Steven Michael Hodgins made a brief in-person court appearance in Kamloops provincial court on Monday, Nov. 7.
Defence lawyer Rob Bruneau told court Hodgins will plead guilty at his next appearance.
The 22-year-old was arrested on Oct. 27 at Northills Shopping Centre after a shopper spotted him and called police.
He had been on the lam since Oct. 18, when he gave the slip to correctional officers while working as part of a prisoner work crew just outside the secure perimeter of Kamloops Regional Correctional Centre in west Kamloops.
An RCMP helicopter and two police-dog units searched the area around the prison for hours, but found nothing.
Following the escape, the union representing provincial jail guards said it was a direct result of understaffing at prisons.
B.C. Corrections has said internal investigations are being conducted into the incident.
On Oct. 13, Hodgins, who has been deemed a prolific offender by Kamloops Mounties, was sentenced to just under a year in jail after pleading guilty to a string of property-related offences stemming from his arrest in late September.
Hodgins is slated to return to court on Nov. 21.