Night Club Shooter Avoids Conviction on Attempted Murder Charge
CC: s.239(a) – Attempted Murder, s.268 – Aggravated Assault, s.267(a) – Assault with a weapon (firearm), s.88(1) – Possession of a Weapon (firearm) for a Dangerous Purpose, s.87(1) – Pointing a Firearm, s.86(1) – Careless Use of a Firearm, s.85(1)(a) – Using a Firearm to Commit an Indictable Offence, s.90(1) – Carrying a Concealed weapon (firearm), s.91(1) – Unregistered Possession of a Firearm, s.95 – Possessing a Loaded Firearm, s.92(1) – Unlicenced Possession of a Firearm, s.96 – Possession of an Illegally Obtained Firearm, s.139(2) – Threatening a Witness from Providing Evidence, s.423(1)(a) – Threatening a Witness, s.244.1 – Discharging a Firearm in order to Prevent Arrest or Detention, s.244.2(1)(b) – Reckless Discharge of a Firearm, s.264.1(1)(a) – Uttering Death Threats.
My client, together with his two friends, entered a crowded nightclub in the early morning hours, walked up to a rival drug dealer on the dance floor, pulled out a handgun, fired one shot into the ceiling and a second shot into the abdomen of the victim. The bullet lodged in his spine, rendering him permanently disabled. They immediately ran to the front door. My client made it out. However, his two friends got tackled by bouncers at the entrance. My client returned, pointed the firearm at the faces of the bouncers, asked them if they were stupid and asked if they wanted to die. He fired three shots into the air and ordered them to release his friends. Together they ran toward a parked vehicle and escaped. Later that morning, they attended at the home of three witnesses who knew them and who had seen them at the club, and threatened to kill them, if they said anything. The next day, the police found them inside a nearby hotel room. Inside their room was a key to a vehicle where police found the clothing worn by the culprits, as captured on closed circuit video surveillance at the nightclub. The DNA on the clothing matched the DNA of the accused. Gunshot residue was also found on the clothing. They also found my client’s fingerprints inside the vehicle.
After conducting a two-week long Preliminary Inquiry, and hearing from dozens of civilian witnesses, police officers and expert witnesses, my client instructed me to negotiate a favourable resolution. Ultimately, he pleaded guilty to only two charges: Reckless Discharge of a Firearm (for shooting the victim in the stomach) and Assault with a Weapon (for threatening the bouncers). We presented a joint submission for a sentence of 5.5 years on the first charge and an additional 6 months on the second charge. Subtracting his pre-trial custody, he was left with a remaining sentence of 54 months to serve. Had he been found guilty after trial, he would have been facing a potential sentence of at least 12 years.