Suspect in fatal crash, jewelry heist charged with assault

Anthony Cortez appears in court on assault charges involving a woman who later died in crash.

A suspect who is thought to have fled the scene of a fatal crash outside Hope on Sept. 11 is charged with assaulting the woman killed in the crash, five months before her death.

The woman, Danielle Charlton, 35, and a mother of four, was a passenger in one of two vehicles involved.

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Appearing via video in Salmon Arm provincial court Monday, Sept. 25 from the Oliver Correctional Centre, Anthony Creed Cortez, with closely cropped dark hair, beard and moustache, wearing prison-issue orange garb, asked Judge Dennis Morgan to read out the charges currently filed with the court.

Cortez stands charged with several offences from April through June filed by Chilliwack police, along with several from Wednesday, Sept. 20 by Revelstoke police.

Cortez is charged with assaulting Danielle Charlton on April 16 of this year.

He is also charged with breaching a no-contact order with Charlton four times – one in April, one in May and two in June. On June 22, he is also charged with obstructing a police officer.

Cortez was arrested in Revelstoke on Wednesday, Sept. 20.

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Stemming from the arrest, he is charged with assaulting a police officer and obstructing or resisting the same officer. He is also charged with possession of stolen property – a Kawasaki motorcycle, as well as breaching bail by carrying a knife. Also from Sept. 20, he is charged with dangerous operation of a motor vehicle.

Although Cortez has not been charged in the Hope crash, where he was alleged to have been driving a stolen SUV that crashed into a highway maintenance vehicle, Hope traffic services have stated that their suspect in now in police custody on an unrelated charge.

The driver of the stolen SUV is alleged to have left the Sept. 11 crash scene and his fatally injured passenger by stealing a white Ford F350 truck from a Good Samaritan who had stopped to help at the scene of the crash.

Cortez is also thought to have been involved in a burglary of a Nelson jewelry store earlier that day.

Because he has not yet conferred with his lawyer, Cortez will return to Salmon Arm court by video Tuesday morning.