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Lawyers reviewing psychiatric report to determine sentence for Kamloops arsonist who killed house guest

April 08, 2016 - 4:30 PM

KAMLOOPS - The psychiatric report is in for a local man convicted of arson and manslaughter, but lawyers are still reviewing submissions on sentence.

Last November, a jury convicted David Peter Gordon of starting a fire that killed house guest Cheryl William in the spring of 2013. Before the offence, Gordon had a drunken fight with his girlfriend and remained aggressive before setting a pile of clothes on fire in his bedroom.

He and his roommate managed to escape the flames, but William sustained serious injuries from smoke inhalation. She died in hospital four days later.

Crown initially requested the psychiatric report on Gordon to help determine what sentence term to pursue. In previous court hearings, prosecutor Neil Flanagan referred to Gordon’s criminal record which has two separate arson convictions. When he requested the testing in a court application on Jan. 8, Flanagan argued Gordon’s pattern of recidivism could lead to a dangerous offender designation, which carries an indeterminate jail sentence.

In a hearing today, April 8, in Kamloops Supreme Court Flanagan did not say whether he plans to continue his pursuit of the designation, or the lesser long-term offender designation. Submissions have been put off for the next three weeks and the hearing will resume April 22.

Gordon is also slated to plead guilty to an unrelated assault charge on that date.

To read coverage of Gordon's trial, click here. 

To contact a reporter for this story, email Glynn Brothen or call 250-319-7494 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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