Man who shot, wounded his own threatening tenant in West Kelowna facing lengthy jail term | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Man who shot, wounded his own threatening tenant in West Kelowna facing lengthy jail term

Charles William Maskell, 59, was one of two men arrested Dec. 2, 2016 after a shooting on Granada Crescent in the Glenrosa neighbourhood shortly after noon.
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December 14, 2018 - 12:57 PM

KELOWNA - An aging West Kelowna man could spend more than four years in prison for shooting a man in his Glenrosa home two years ago — and following that up with carrying and using bear spray during a crime while on bail.

Charles Maskell, 61, was arrested in December 2016 after police and emergency services were called to the Granada Crescent home he shared with several tenants. Court heard today, Dec. 14, that Maskell shot one of his tenants after he says he was threatened.

He fired the gun twice and hit a door frame and a second shot hit Robert Delve in the abdomen. The gun was an antique and did little damage, however, never reaching any vital organs.

Maskell’s lawyer, Paul McMurray, told Kelowna provincial court judge Ellen Burdett that his client, a former tattoo artist, was being exploited by Delve and another tenant — known gangster Tyson Bone. McMurray said his client became destitute after his mother and brother died leaving him with a mortgage and not enough money to pay it and that’s when he brought in tenants to help pay bills.

Court heard Bone was found through the investigation to be trafficking drugs and that might have helped McMurray in his submission that Maskell was intimidated but it appeared Maskell was part of that lifestyle as well. McMurray said after both family members died within a short time, Maskell's old addiction to heroin reared up. He was caught with methamphetamine as well during the second offence.

Still, he was 59 at the time, and in poor health. In court, Maskell wore a red prison uniform over his tiny frame, his head and neck dotted with tattoos.

McMurray said Maskell only had the gun as part of a garage he bought for a side business selling antiques — he didn't buy it to use it. He kept it in his room in the house with other firearm parts that were not operational when he realized he was in some danger. Maskell also suspected Delve of cleaning roughly $15,000 from his bank account when Delve and his girlfriend obtained his PIN number, though the Crown pointed out there was no evidence for that.

While on bail, last summer Maskell was caught trying to shoplift some meat from the Kelowna Walmart. When he was confronted outside, his first reaction was to spray a loss prevention officer with bear spray. Several other people in the parking lot — including young children — were also somewhat injured in the exchange.

But the sentencing comes down to the use a firearm, antique or not, and Canadian courts have been steadily ramping up sentencing for illegal handgun offences. It’s understood that possession of a firearm in the commission of an offence will warrant federal prison time — more than two years.

Crown prosecutor Nick Lerfold sought an overall sentence nearing of four to four-and-a-half years in prison, in part because Maskell was released on bail for a weapons offence — and breached with a weapons offence. Before his guilty plea, he faced a number of offences including attempted murder and unlawfully discharging a firearm, as well as assault with a weapon. 

While McMurray tried to suggest a two-year sentence — and roughly six months time already served — Burdett suggested she had little authority to go that low.

"Your client has a loaded gun in his room and he fires it,” she said.

Maskell has a criminal record but it's more than 30 years old. Lerfold said a pre-sentencing report wasn't much help in figuring out how Maskell found himself back in a criminal lifestyle.

"We don’t understand why he chose to arm himself with tools of violence — the firearms and the bear spray," he said. 

Burdett reserved her decision, likely into the new year.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Marshall Jones or call 250-718-2724 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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