In a bit of "CSI"-style police work, Mounties in Penticton were able to link a suspect to a break and enter thanks to genetic material left on a water bottle at the crime scene, a judge heard Monday.
Jeffrey Lloyd Doucet, 35, pleaded guilty to one count of break and enter with intent to commit an indictable offence, and was sentenced in B.C. Supreme Court to 410 days’ time served in connection with an incident March 2, 2017.
As part of a plea agreement, Doucet only served 273 days while awaiting trial, but was given enhanced credit for that time. He’s now on probation for 18 months.
Court heard the break and enter was reported around 3 a.m., after the resident of a home on Lee Avenue awoke to find Doucet inside.
“She observed him rifling through some drawers in her residence, then leaving, taking with him the keys to her white GMC Yukon,” said Crown counsel Ann Lerchs as she recounted the circumstances in court.
Police found the vehicle torched later that day.
“Unfortunately, due to the extent of the fire, no forensic evidence was able to be detected off that vehicle,” said Lerchs.
However, the victim also noticed outside her home a water bottle that wasn’t there when she went to bed the night before, so Mounties took it and found it could provide forensic evidence in the form of a DNA sample.
Doucet, meanwhile, was arrested on an unrelated warrant the same days as the break and enter, and in his possession were two pieces of identification belonging to the victim on Lee Avenue.
Police used those ID cards to then get a warrant for Doucet’s DNA, which was subsequently found to match the DNA on the water bottle.
But owing to “potential frailties” in the Crown’s case that could have been exposed at trial – the victim wasn’t able to pick Doucet out of a photo lineup – and Doucet’s apparent success at a drug-treatment facility in the Lower Mainland, Lerchs recommended the 410-day sentence.
Court heard Doucet, who had multiple prior convictions for drug and property offences, owned his own business at one point, but his life spiralled downwards when he became addicted to opioids after being prescribed some painkillers for a back injury.
“I made mistakes in my past and I’ve tried to change the last few years, and this time I was in jail I took it upon myself to move away from the crowds and the things that were going on in jail,” said Doucet when given a chance to address the court.
“I don’t want to be stuck like this, this other person anymore. As soon as I start using, I’m not this nice person. I turn into a completely different person. That’s not who I am and how I want to live my life.”