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Manslaughter charges dropped against Penticton man

Sylvain Demers, accused of manslaughter in the April 26, 2017 slaying of Randall Toews at this Penticton townhouse complex, had his charges stayed recently by the B.C. Prosecutor's office.
February 28, 2020 - 1:00 PM

A man accused of manslaughter in an incident that occurred in Penticton in April, 2017 will not go to trial following a decision by the B.C. prosecutor’s office.

Sylvain Demers, born in 1980, was charged with manslaughter after Randall Toews was found shot and killed at a townhouse complex on Creston Avenue in Penticton on April 26, 2017.

B.C. Prosecutions spokesperson Alisia Adams said in an email issued yesterday, Feb. 27, Crown Counsel directed a stay of proceedings on Demers file on Feb. 24.

Demers’ trial was scheduled to begin on March 23, but has since been cancelled.

“The decision to stay charges in this case was made after a reassessment of the available evidence following the preliminary inquiry. After considering the evidence as clarified at the preliminary inquiry and the rest of the file materials, the prosecutor concluded the charge approval standard was no longer met,” Adams said in the email.

Demers was spokesperson for a tent camp that sprung up on a piece of city property on Main Street in July, 2019.

At the time he said he was innocent of the charges, claiming self defence.

"I’m up on manslaughter charges, as everybody knows. I was defending my family in my home when a guy came in with knives embedded in his gloves. He was also a friend of mine. He left and came back to the residence with the same attitude. When it comes down to it, it was self defence,” Demers said at the time.

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