Guilty plea for man who shot Mountie

Kenneth Knutson of Kamloops receives 16 and a half year sentence for shooting Cpl. J.R. Michaud in December 2014.

Cpl. J.R. Michaud.

Cpl. J.R. Michaud.

The man charged with shooting RCMP Cpl. J.R. Michaud, a former Ashcroft resident, in Kamloops in December 2014 has been sentenced to 16 and a half years in prison for attempted murder with a firearm.

Kamloops resident Kenneth Knutson, aged 38, pleaded guilty to attempted murder in court in Kamloops on March 17. In the early hours of Dec. 3, 2014 he failed to stop for Michaud, who had identified the vehicle Knutson was driving as one that was being used to deal drugs around the city.  Michaud flashed his lights but Knutson kept driving, finally stopping in the Batchelor Heights area. When Michaud approached the car, Knutson fired six shotgun blasts through the vehicle’s rear window, two of which struck Michaud.

The prompt actions of Const. Steve Marcil, who was fresh out of depot, helped save Michaud’s life. Marcil returned fire, then administered first aid to Michaud until emergency services arrived on the scene, for which he will receive official recognition.

Michaud sustained injuries in the abdomen and elbow, which caused one of his lungs to collapse. He underwent 12 surgeries over more than 100 days in hospital, and was not able to return to full-time duty for 13 months.

Knutson fled the scene, but was apprehended after a 13-hour manhunt. His sentence will be reduced by 2 years for time served, and he will be eligible for parole when he has served one-third of his sentence.

Michaud was head of the Central Interior Traffic Services at Ashcroft detachment from 2009 to 2012, and served as the detachment’s Commander between the departure of Sgt. Dave Prentice and the arrival of Sgt. Michel Grondin. He was transferred from Ashcroft to Kamloops in the summer of 2012.