Judge reluctantly acquits alleged Polson Park shooter of all charges - InfoNews

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Judge reluctantly acquits alleged Polson Park shooter of all charges

FILE PHOTO: The shooting incident followed a failed robbery at the notorious Green Valley Motel, which has since shut down.
June 05, 2017 - 8:00 PM

VERNON - A man accused of participating in a shootout in Polson Park was cleared of all charges in Kelowna Supreme Court last week.

Robin James Rochement faced five gun-related charges, including discharging a firearm at Jacob Lowes, who was recently convicted in relation to the Aug. 12, 2014 shooting.

The pair were accused of firing at each other in Polson Park during morning rush hour in Vernon. 

During the trial, 16 Crown witnesses were called, including eight police officers and eight lay people. The defence called no evidence.

Justice Nigel Kent said in his written decision there wasn't sufficient evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Rochement was involved in the shooting.

Kent said there were some consistencies in the evidence that “point the finger of guilt” at Rochement, but concluded they were not enough to prove the charges.

“If reasonable doubt exists as to whether Mr. Rochemont even had a gun in his hand let alone participated in the gunshot exchange, he must be acquitted of all of the offences with which he is charged,” Kent said.

The judge also said there was no evidence of Rochement’s DNA or fingerprints on the physical evidence retrieved from the park, and gun shot residue testing of Rochement and his clothing was negative. 

The shootout happened after a failed robbery at the Green Valley Motel, court heard during Lowes’ trial. Crown counsel is calling for a harsh jail term against Lowes — who has yet to be sentenced — in order to deter firearm-related crimes. 

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