Aaron Dueane Conners appeared restless in the prisoners’ box before he received a four-year sentence in Moose Jaw Provincial Court on Monday.
Conners, 22, pleaded guilty to charges of break and enter, possession of a dangerous weapon, unlawful confinement and a breach of probation in relation to an Aug.15 hostage situation.
He also pleaded guilty to threatening the same victim in an earlier charge from July 30.
Judge Doug Kovatch accepted the joint submission and advised Conners seek counselling during his four years of incarceration.
At about 1:10 a.m. on Aug. 15, Moose Jaw Police Service was notified of an argument between Conners and a 30-year-old woman on the 200 block of Ominica Street West.
Conners had consumed half of a bottle of whiskey before he broke into Kelly Erdahl’s residence while she and her four children were sleeping. She awoke to him sitting in a chair in her room, holding a knife.
The Crown told the court the two had previously been in a short relationship.
The court heard on Monday that when police arrived, Connors and Erdahl were outside as he grabbed her and held a six- to eight-inch-long knife to Erdahl, using her as a shield and threatened to kill her several times.
Police on scene talked with Conners until the K-9 unit and crisis negotiators arrived.
Negotiators talked to him for more than three hours before he dropped the knife and was arrested.
Crown Prosector Brian Hendrickson told the court that Conners had mentioned his intention was to commit suicide by cop. En route to the police station following his arrest, Conners asked if the officers had a 9mm firearm and pointed at his own forehead.
Hendrickson said one of the only mitigating factors for Conners’ sentencing was that no one was physically injured.
Erdahl said the damage to her and her family hasn’t healed.
In her victim statement she said before the incident she considered herself to be a strong, independent mother. “Now I feel weak and helpless,” she said.
She told the court she cannot sleep without a light on and is often woken up by a nightmare that someone is coming after her and her children. She said her children now live in fear.
Conners told his lawyer Mervin Shaw he would never threaten children.
Shaw told the court Conners has his Grade 11 and has worked on-and-off as a cook since he was 13. “He generally tries to be a productive member of society,” Shaw said.
Conners had been in custody since his arrest, and started serving his four-year sentence on Monday.
“We get to live with this for the rest of our lives,” Erdahl told the Times-Herald after court. “Yes, he gets four years, but I mean, in two-and-a-half, he’s out.”
Austin M. Davis can be reached at 306-691-1258 or follow him on Twitter @theAustinX.