James Lee Busch, 42, was sentenced to 12 months in jail concurrent for escaping from lawful custody for breaking out of William Head Institution with fellow inmate Zachary Armitage in July 2019. (Corrections Service Canada)

Metchosin inmate sentenced to 12 months in jail for escaping custody

Sentence to be served concurrent to a life sentence he was already serving

A Metchosin inmate who escaped custody in July 2019 was sentenced to 12 months in jail, concurrent with a life sentence he is already serving time for.

James Lee Busch, 42, appeared in Western Communities Court in Colwood on Sept. 17 for the sentencing hearing. Last December, Busch pleaded guilty to escaping from custody.

Busch was serving time for second-degree murder and assault when he escaped William Head Institution with fellow inmate Zachary Armitage on the evening of July 7. The two were present for the prison’s evening head count, and were discovered missing at 11 p.m.

RELATED: Sentencing delayed for escaped Metchosin prisoner

The pair evaded authorities for two days before being taken into custody in Esquimalt. The escaped inmates commented on the size of a dog near the Songhees Walkway on the evening of July 9. The dog’s owner, an off-duty RCMP officer, recognized the pair. The officer called 911 and the men were arrested by the Victoria Police Department.

Earlier this year, police also charged the pair with first-degree murder in the death of Martin Payne who lived near the prison. A pretrial conference was held on Friday for both men who will appear in court on Oct. 1.

Armitage also pleaded guilty to escape from lawful custody and in November was sentenced to an another year in prison, in addition to his current sentence.

RELATED: Judge ‘bewildered’ that escaped Metchosin inmate was in a minimum security prison

– With files from Nina Grossman


 

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