RCMP at the apartment building where a man was killed on the morning of April 26, 2017. Crown has since stayed the manslaughter charge against the accused. (file photo)

Charges discontinued in 2017 shooting death of Penticton man

The manslaughter charge against Sylvain Demers has been stayed by Crown

Crown Council has decided to discontinue the charges against a man involved in an April 2017 at Penticton apartment building that left one man dead.

Sylvain Modeste Demers, 39, had been charged with manslaughter following the shooting.

Alicia Adams of the B.C. Prosecution Service said the charge in the death Randall Toews, 52, was stayed as a result of reassessment of the available evidence.

“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,” said Adams. “In these circumstances a stay of proceedings is the appropriate course of action.”

The shooting happened about 10:30 a.m. April 26, 2017, at the residence located at 998 Creston Ave. near Comox Street.

This was the second case of charges being stayed by the Crown in just over a week, in Penticton. Aggravated assault charges against Gregory Nield,in connection with the alleged attack on a Penticton psychiatrist, were also discontinued for the same reason of the charge approval no longer being able to be met.

In the matter of Demers, when police responded to reports of shots being fired they found the adult male deceased and a suspect was taken into custody.

A witness at the time reported seeing a man staggering down the stairs from one of the apartments and collapse on the ground and another person said they walked past the body of a man, his top half covered up, with his hand over the stomach and blood coming out from under it.

READ MORE: Penticton RCMP investigating possible murder

Neighbours also told the Western News they heard a loud bang, screaming and then saw a man holding his stomach where he had apparently been shot.

A resident of the apartment said they heard banging on his neighbour’s door and someone saying: “it is in your best interest to open your door for me right now,” prior to the shooting.

Initially the accused was released from custody without charges, police saying there was no danger to the public and that both parties in the matter knew each other.

READ MORE: Shooting suspect released

A warrant was later issued for Demers and he was arrested in December 2018 on a warrant after charges were sworn just over a month before.

Prior to the charges being stayed, the accused was scheduled to go to trial in Penticton this March.

There were also published reports the shooting may have been in self defence, with the defence lawyer alleging Toews was armed at the time of the incident.

When proceedings are stayed, the prosecutor can restart the proceedings within a year. However, this is almost never done unless new evidence comes to light that significantly increases the prosecutors chance of securing a conviction.


 

@PentictonNews
newstips@pentictonwesternnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Manslaughter Trial

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Okanagan Realtors donate big to North Westside fire department

Two Kelowna-area Realtors made a generous donation to the North Westside Fire… Continue reading

Water quality advisory rescinded for Vernon users

Emergency repairs on a water main resulted in water quality advisory

SilverStar security recovers stolen bike

Reminders to residents to keep bicycles locked up, eyes open for suspicious activity

Orphaned Okanagan beavers admitted to rehab centre

The two beavers are in the care of the Fawcett Family Wildlife Health Centre

Interior Health will not expand Police and Crisis Team

Southeast Division Chief Superintendent Brad Haugli asked IH to expand the program

13 new B.C. COVID-19 cases, Langley Lodge outbreak ends

Health care outbreaks down to four, 162 cases active

‘Justice for Mona’ protests planned in Kelowna, Lower Mainland

Security camera footage shows Mona Wang being dragged, stepped on during RCMP wellness check

Intent of killing at centre of Surrey man’s Okanagan murder trial

B.C. Supreme Court Justice Allison Beames is anticipated to return with her decision in August

Kelowna neighbourhood pond dries up again

The RDCO filled up the pond on Hall Road but it’s drying up again

Penticton RCMP seek help locating missing woman

25-year-old Iesha Blomquist was reported missing to Penticton RCMP on June 30

Car smashes into Kelowna dollar store

The vehicle went through the front window of the store just off Highway 97 North

Majority of residents in support of alcohol in outdoor spaces: City of Penticton

City council will vote on whether to continue allowing public consumption, on Tuesday, July 7

Princeton RCMP arrest suspects in violent Salmon Arm home invasion

Two men who allegedly staged a violent home invasion in Salmon Arm… Continue reading

Most Read