Judge urges movement after delays in Salmon Arm church shooting case

Court sees another adjournment for man facing charges of first-degree murder and aggravated assault

A Salmon Arm judge wants the case involving a fatal shooting at a local church to get moving.

Matrix Gathergood, the man accused in the killing of a church elder at the Salmon Arm Church of Christ on April 14 and the wounding of another church leader, appeared once again via video in Provincial Court in Salmon Arm on July 30.

Gathergood is in custody in the Okanagan Correctional Centre in Oliver.

Judge Dennis Morgan said he had been reluctant to grant a four-week adjournment on July 16 as requested by defence lawyer Jonathan Avis.

Avis, speaking to the court via telephone, explained he had just received a second thumb drive on July 16 containing disclosure. He also noted that Crown counsel had said he had received the bulk of disclosure in April, when he had actually received it in June.

Disclosure is the evidence that police and Crown counsel have collected to prosecute the case.

Read more: Accused in fatal church shooting appears briefly in Salmon Arm court

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“Most of the delay has been waiting for disclosure,” Avis said.

Judge Morgan asked if the defence has it all now.

“I think I have the bulk of it.”

The judge agreed to an adjournment to Aug. 13 and emphasized he wants the case to proceed.

“We will be expecting some movement at the next date.”

Gathergood’s case has been scheduled for court nine times since the April 14 shooting: twice in April, twice in May, three times in June and twice in July.

The 25-year-old stands charged with first-degree murder in the shooting of Gordon Parmenter and with aggravated assault in the wounding of Paul Derkach.


@SalmonArm
marthawickett@saobserver.net

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