A judge has ordered Michael Nehass be assessed to see if he could be labelled either a dangerous or long-term offender.
The 31-year-old still hasn’t been sentenced for a crime that landed him in jail about four years ago.
When he is finally sentenced, both of those designations would impact how long he has to stay there. A long-term offender can get up to 10 years probation after he or she is released. A dangerous offender is locked up in a federal penitentiary indefinitely.
But before the Crown can ask a judge for either of those designations, a psychiatric assessment needs to be done.
Nehass was fighting the order to even be assessed, but Yukon Supreme Court Justice Scott Brooker ruled Tuesday that the Crown had met the low standard to at least have the assessment done.
Assessments are meant to be a tool to help the Crown decide how it wants to proceed, Brooker said.
“In my view, therefore, engaging in a lengthy and drawn out evidentiary investigation would be counterproductive, adding unnecessary expense and delay to a summary procedure.”
In Canada if someone has already been convicted twice of a serious crime that landed them in prison for two years or more, they are presumed to get assessed when they’re convicted a third time.
Nehass been convicted of aggravated assault twice before now: once in 2003 when he was sentenced to 33 months, and once in 2010 when he was sentenced to three years.
Nehass has insisted he was not sentenced to three years in 2010, only two years less a day, but the judge disagreed.
After listening to a recording of the 2010 sentencing Brooker ruled that Nehass was sentenced to three years. It was only credit for pre-trial custody that bumped his remaining time under the two-year mark, the judge said.
Most recently Nehass was convicted by a jury last May of forcible confinement, aggravated assault and breaching his probation after attacking a woman in Watson Lake in December 2011. He plans to appeal.
Nehass’s lawyer plans to make an application that his Charter rights have been violated during his time behind bars.
His father has also filed a human rights complaint on his behalf over the length of time he has spent in some form of segregation.
Last year Nehass was sentenced for crimes he committed while in custody at the Whitehorse jail.
Assuming the situation has not changed since then, he has not been part of the jail’s general population since May 2013.