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

Just Posted

Autism Awareness Day highlights challenges amid COVID-19

AutismBC regional coordinator in Kelowna discusses living with autism amid a pandemic

UPDATE: Good Samaritan delivers stolen sentimental mail

Some items stolen from boxes in the BX area were returned to the rightful owner

WATCH: Armstrong retirement community adapts amid COVID-19

Heaton Place rethinks programming to ensure residents stay safe, healthy and entertained

BREAKING: Inmate at Okanagan Correctional Centre tests positive for COVID-19

This is B.C.’s first community outbreak at a corrections facility

Answer your phone, Vernon school district says

No caller ID or unknown callers could be your child’s teacher reaching out

Trudeau rejects mandatory stay-at-home order for now; COVID deaths up

The virus has now infected more than 10,000 Canadians and cost 130 their lives

B.C. health care workers gain access to virtual health care options

During COVID-19 many clinics have closed, leaving health care workers with nowhere to turn

Tax collectors, auditors to help field ‘historic’ numbers of benefit-seeking callers

‘If you work for CRA, people think we are just there to take money from your pockets.’

Cowichan couple won’t self-isolate after returning from overseas

New law requires 14 days of self-isolation when returning to Canada

Family uses social media to help truckers find places to eat during pandemic

Restaurants Serving Drivers in Western Canada seeks to provide a list of places open for drivers

Advocates sound alarm over COVID-19 limiting access to contraceptives, abortion

The COVID-19 outbreak has hit sexual-health services from almost every angle

‘We’re working to help every Canadian’: Minister of Middle Class Prosperity

Minister Mona Fortier explains she is working with all levels of government amid COVID-19

Two planes come into close contact above Kelowna

The incident occurred between a WestJet flight and a private plane back in 2019

Most Read