Yukon North Of Ordinary

News archive for May 13, 2013

Alert officer caught woman trying to pass drugs in court

A 22-year-old Yukon woman was sentenced Friday to 10 months in custody for attempting to pass drugs in court to a man accused of attempted murder.

A 22-year-old Yukon woman was sentenced Friday to 10 months in custody for attempting to pass drugs in court to a man accused of attempted murder.

On Nov. 16, 2012 an RCMP constable observed Jessica Johnson digging in her purse during a preliminary hearing for Christopher Cornell.

Cornell and Johnson have both been charged with the attempted murder of an RCMP officer in Haines Junction in September 2011.

They are also facing charges for the armed robbery of Madley’s General Store in the village.

Johnson was not in custody at the time of Cornell’s preliminary hearing.

According to an agreed statement of facts read by Crown prosecutor Terri Nguyen, the constable saw Johnson pull a small black bag out of her purse, catch Cornell’s eye, and toss it to his feet during the preliminary hearing in November 2012.

The constable retrieved the bag and found it contained marijuana, two cigarettes and matches.

Johnson was then arrested and taken to the arrest processing unit to be searched by a female officer.

Before she was placed in the police car, the back seat was thoroughly searched and Johnson’s hands were cuffed behind her back.

On the trip to the Whitehorse Correctional Centre, Johnson moved her hands from behind her body to the front.

The officer pulled the car over, called for back-up and went around to the rear of the car, where he found two empty syringe packs on the floor.

After searching the backseat a second time, the officers could not locate the needles.

At the arrest processing unit, Johnson was searched and the two syringes were found on her person.

A more thorough search conducted in private found that she had a marijuana pipe, a crack pipe, rolling papers and tobacco hidden.

Johnson has already served six months in custody. Judge Karen Ruddy gave her credit for that time on a one-to-one basis, leaving her with four months to serve.

Ruddy highlighted the severity of the crime, noting it showed a vagrant disrespect for the courts.

Johnson apologized for her actions, saying she accepted full responsibility and understood it was completely inappropriate.

Defence lawyer Gordon Coffin had urged for a lighter sentence of between six and eight months, to the Crown’s 10 to 12 months.

He said Johnson was young and had fallen in with the wrong group of people.

Since being in custody, she has attended Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, undertaken counselling, helped prepare weekly meals for the Wellness Centre, and is trying to secure a residential treatment placement.

Johnson has also been looking into college programs, and has reconnected with her family.

CommentsAdd a comment

Josey Wales

May 13, 2013 at 3:27 pm

seems to me at least both folks here would be a great argument for pro choice folks.
Too bad their parents never went that route.

Chris Ziegler

May 13, 2013 at 5:01 pm

Mr. Coffin is just doing what he’s paid to do…really a lighter sentence? These individuals contribute nothing to our community and use the system to take advantage, break the law and cause mayhem. We have a new correctional facility, use it! Cool their heels with time and court ordered conditions and educate with real life skills programing and at least try and break the criminal behavior cycle.


May 14, 2013 at 8:46 am

Armed robbery and attempted murder of a police officer and this woman is running around loose waiting for trial?  What is going on?!  Whoever agreed to that has got to wake up.  Here is how she returns the favour:  by obtaining drugs and contraband and brazenly bringing them into a hearing and tossing them to her still-beloved co-defendent Chris Cornell.

Well, one can only hope that these charges will result in seeing both of them removed from society for a very, very long time. How is it that we have to wait until situations like this before these misfits have their freedom to conduct business as usual removed?!

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