Brandishing gun gets co-accused one year in jail - InfoNews

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Brandishing gun gets co-accused one year in jail

Roderick Brady Macmurchy was sentenced to a year in jail for unlicensed possession of a firearm, while co-accused Levi Darian Savard's sentencing was adjourned in Penticton court yesterday, May 28, 2018.
May 29, 2018 - 1:41 PM

PENTICTON - An aborted home invasion by two men in the throes of drug addiction will cost one of the two a year in jail following a sentencing hearing in Penticton court.

Roderick Brady Macmurchy entered a guilty plea one count of possessing a firearm without a license or registration while Levi Darian Francois Savard pled guilty to one count of occupying a vehicle knowing firearms were present.

They were to be sentenced in a joint submission that would have seen Macmurchy sentenced to one year in jail followed by 18 months’ probation, and Savard to six months followed by 18 months probation in Penticton court yesterday, May 28.

Crown Prosecutor Kurt Froehlich told court on March 23, 2017, Penticton RCMP were called to a Valiant Drive address in Penticton after a resident complained of a man coming towards the door with a sawed off firearm.

A beige Chevy Blazer became a vehicle of interest and police spotted it shortly after the incident on West Bench Hills Road.

They stopped the vehicle and forced the driver, later identified as Savard, out at gunpoint. They also arrested Macmurchy, who was later identified as the man who approached the residence with a gun.

A police search of the vehicle revealed a sawed-off .22 calibre rifle, a number of bullets, two long pistol magazines, a knife and sword.

Video surveillance at the house showed the Blazer passenger get out of the vehicle wearing a bandana and carrying the gun. He approached the house, but did not reach the front door before turning back to the vehicle, which then left the scene.

Macmurchy later told police he used to work for one of the two victims at the residence. The victim was the owner of a legal grow op and it was Macmurchy’s intent to rob him in order to pay off a $2,000 drug debt.

He abandoned the scheme before carrying it out, however.

Froehlich told court neither of the men had prior firearms convictions, although both had criminal records, Savard for assault, Macmurchy for trafficking.

Both were on court ordered terms at the time of the incident, but a pre-sentence report indicated both men had been behaving themselves while on bail since then.

Both men were dealing with drug addiction issues at the time of the crimes, and both expressed remorse at what they had done.

Froehlich also noted the pair’s guilty plea carried “significant mitigating weight,” due to certain frailties in the case. He said Crown’s position on the matter reflected that in asking for a range of sentencing below normals for such circumstances.

Defence lawyer Robert Maxwell took exception to Crown's handling of the case, however.

“The Crown has total control when an offence has been committed and Crown in its wisdom, by indictment, jointly charged both of them on basically everything here, including offences that could have carried a minimum four-year sentence,” Maxwell said, adding as the “lackadaisical” investigation went on, Crown realized some reports would not be completed in time for court proceedings.

Maxwell said Crown then offered his client a 12-month sentence, and found out later Crown had offered Savard “something different” that allowed his counsel the opportunity to plead for a conditional sentence under summary proceedings.

"A joint submission, for one year, and we’d have no problems. That’s what we’re looking for in this particular case. There were two people involved, it was a different purpose, a more heinous purpose, if it had been carried out, but it wasn’t, but it still leaves (my client) with that gun in his hands,” Maxwell told the court.

Maxwell added it wasn’t his client’s option to plead to a one-year sentence.

“He would have preferred to proceed summarily, so they both would get the same sentence, but that’s not within our power, or the judge’s, it’s all within the Crown’s power,” he said.

Following Maxwell’s explanation of events from his client’s point of view, defence lawyer Michael Welsh presented objections to the judge.

Noting the “highly unusual circumstances of this case,” Welsh asked Judge Koturbash for an adjournment for his client in order to seek separate sentencing by another judge.

After some discussion, Judge Koturbash agreed, calling the case a "unique situation.”

A tearful Macmurchy then addressed court, expressing his apologies to the two victims and telling the court he was “totally ashamed” and that he’d “let my family down.”

Judge Koturbash noted the man’s remorse, telling him he was sure Macmurchy "wouldn’t get involved in something like this again.”

He agreed to the joint submission, giving Macmurchy enhanced credit for time served at 23 days, leaving him with 342 days remaining in his sentence.

Macmurchy will also serve 18 months probation upon release.

Savard’s case was adjourned to the judicial case manager’s office to set a new date for sentencing before another judge.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Steve Arstad or call 250-488-3065 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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