Trial date set for Vernon man who critically injured woman by firing shots into her apartment | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Trial date set for Vernon man who critically injured woman by firing shots into her apartment

August 10, 2020 - 6:00 AM

A Vernon man currently serving jail time for pointing a gun at his girlfriend and pulling the trigger is set to stand trial for another shooting that took place on the same day.

Derek Ryan Baptiste is set to go on trial in July 2021 at the Vernon courthouse for shooting at a building on 24 Avenue, Vernon, in January 2018.

Vernon RCMP released a statement that same day saying a 49-year-old woman had sustained life-threatening injuries after shots were fired into an apartment building on the 3700 block of 24 Avenue, Vernon. Days later police said the woman was in stable but critical condition.

Baptiste, born 1983, was charged in October 2018 for intentionally discharging a firearm into the building while knowing or being reckless as to whether another person was present, aggravated assault, and use of a firearm to commit an indictable offence.

                                                                                            READ MORE: 'If you are going to shoot me, just get it over with': Vernon man who fired a gun at his girlfriend jailed

Baptiste is currently serving a four-and-a-half-year prison sentence for pointing a semi-automatic rifle at his girlfriend and firing it into the ceiling above their bed. At the trial, the court heard the couple were both drinking heavily and using heroin and methamphetamine daily. Baptiste admitted he'd purchased the weapon illegally earlier on the day of the shooting but argued the weapon had discharged accidentally.

Court documents show this shooting took place on the same day the 24 Avenue apartment building was shot at.

On Aug. 4, lawyers on the case requested a 24-day trial to take place in September 2021, but B.C. Supreme Court Justice Heather Holmes requested they find an earlier date. The trial is now set for July 2021.

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