Salmon Arm Law Courts (File photo)

Man accused in Salmon Arm church shooting to stand trial by judge alone

Murder and aggravated assault trial set for three days beginning July 21

The man accused in the shooting death of a church leader will be standing trial in Salmon Arm.

Matrix Gathergood, 25, has opted for trial by judge alone, his lawyer Jonathan Avis told BC Supreme Court Justice Dev Dley in Salmon Arm on Tuesday, Feb. 4.

Gathergood is facing charges of murder regarding the shooting death on April 14, 2019, of Gordon Parmenter and aggravated assault in connection with the wounding of Paul Derkach. The shootings took place at the Salmon Arm Church of Christ.

Read more: Judge orders movement after delays in Salmon Arm church shooting case

Read more: Psychiatric assessment ordered for man accused in Salmon Arm church shooting

In December, Gathergood waived his right to a preliminary inquiry, which is held to determine if there is enough evidence to proceed to trial. Gathergood is currently being held at the Forensic Psychiatric Hospital in Coquitlam.

The BC Supreme Court trial is set for July 21 in Salmon Arm and is expected to last three days.

Gathergood underwent a psychiatric assessment in September. At that time, when his lawyer told the Provincial Court judge about the grounds for the assessment application, he said Gathergood had been diagnosed with psychosis twice in months preceding the incident as well as hours after his arrest on April 14 of this year.

Along with murder and aggravated assault, Gathergood is charged with arson in relation to inhabited property. That charge stems from a fire that badly damaged the Parmenter family home on March 14, a month before the fatal shooting.

The next appearance on the arson charge will be March 31 in Provincial Court in Salmon Arm.



marthawickett@saobserver.net

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