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Okanagan man who shot at girlfriend to spend even longer in jail

Derek Ryan Baptiste skipped out on parole and was arrested in a stolen car in Oliver
Penticton court.

An Okanagan man on parole took an unlawful trip that earned him another nine months of jail time.

In early 2022, Derek Ryan Baptiste was on statutory release for shooting his then-girlfriend in Vernon when the most recent crime occurred. He was staying at a halfway house in Vancouver when he disappeared and returned back to his home in the South Okanagan.

He pleaded guilty on Nov. 29 in Penticton Provincial Court to fleeing police while in a stolen vehicle on March 15, 2022 in Oliver for which he was sentenced to nine months on top of his remaining jail sentence.

Baptiste, appeared via video from Kent Institution, the maximum security federal penitentiary in Agassiz.

The court heard that Baptiste didn’t steal the vehicle but he was arrested behind the wheel when police stopped it in March.

For being unlawfully at large from the halfway home, he was sentenced to another four months in jail, according to court records.

READ MORE: Vernon man faces new shooting trial after he was jailed for firing gun above girlfriend’s head

In 2019, Baptiste was convicted of aggravated assault, using a firearm to commit an offence and unlawfully discharging a firearm after shooting above his girlfriend’s head with a rifle while he was in Vernon.

For that he was sentenced to the maximum of four years and six months, and after time served was set to spend three years and 28 days in jail at the time.

Among the reasons that went into that sentence was the fact that Baptiste has a lengthy criminal record, with 65 previous criminal convictions stretching back to 1997.

“I agree that Mr. Baptiste’s actions have essentially snowballed himself into this position,” said the judge. “The court must have full recognition of the totality of the sentences that are being imposed.”

He had been set for release in March 2023, and following his recent offences, he will now not be free until April, 2024.

Following his eventual release, Baptiste will also have a one-year driving ban.

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