Convicted Kelowna killer back behind bars after found in stolen truck

Killer back behind bars

A convicted killer and repeat offender were arrested in Rutland Thursday after they were found driving a stolen truck.

In a press release issued Friday, Const. Mike Della-Paolera of the Kelowna RCMP said 32-year-old Tyler Newton and female who is “well known to police” were spotted in a suspected stolen GMC Sierra at a home on the 1000 block of El Paso Road Thursday. Police followed the pair as they drove to a business and they were arrested without incident.

While police didn't name the female suspect, court records show 46-year-old Melody Decoteau has been charged alongside Newton for the incident. But while Newton remains in custody, Decoteau was released on bail Friday morning with no financial obligation.

Back in 2014, Newton fatally stabbed Cesar Rosales in the neck while they were riding on Kelowna's No. 8 bus, in an entirely unprovoked attack. A psychologist later determined Newton had been suffering from drug-induced psychosis at the time.

Newton pleaded guilty to manslaughter in 2016 and was handed a seven-year sentence, but with credit for time served, his sentence expired in December 2020. Since completing his manslaughter sentence, he's been convicted of several more recent offences in 2021 and 2022, and he was given six months of additional jail time.

Decoteau, meanwhile, has an extensive criminal record dating back to 1997. She pleaded guilty in 2020 to a violent robbery of a Kelowna sex worker in 2017 and was sentenced to 21 months of jail. During that sentencing, the court heard how Decoteau had been known as a "debt collector" on the streets of Kelowna.

“These individuals have a long history of criminal activity in our community,” said Const. Della-Paolera. “Thanks to the great work of our officers, they are back in custody and will appear before the courts with a list of recommended charges.”

Both face a charge of possession of stolen property over $5,000, while Newton also faces charges of driving while disqualified and three counts of breaching probation.

Newton has a bail hearing scheduled for Aug. 16, while Decoteau is scheduled to return to court on Aug. 17.

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