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

South Okanagan real estate market adjusting to ‘new normal’

Numbers are up in March; however, industry insiders say the market has cooled

Not all receive COVID-19 aid from federal government

Summerland woman does not qualify for federal assistance during COVID-19 pandemic

Law enforcement will patrol shuttered campgrounds in Cascades this weekend

Patrols will enforce provincial order requiring all such facilities remain closed during COVID-19

Campfires still permitted in Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen

Restrictions have been implemented elsewhere within valley

Summerland parks remain open for passive use

Users urged to maintain physical distancing to slow spread of COVID-19

COVID-19 death toll reaches 50 in B.C., while daily case count steadies

B.C. records 34 new cases in the province, bringing total active confirmed cases to 462

Public warned to stay away from algae bloom near Herald Park in Shuswap Lake

Interior Health states that people, pets should not drink the water in the area or touch the algae

B.C. unveils $5M for mental health supports during the COVID-19 pandemic

Will include virtual clinics and resources for British Columbians, including front-line workers

South Shuswap residents criticize upgrades to Balmoral Road/Highway 1 intersection

Reliance on frontage roads and narrow underpasses near Blind Bay not good enough

B.C.’s COVID-19 rent supplement starts taking applications

$300 to $500 to landlords for April, May and June if eligible

COVID-19: No more international flights at Kelowna International Airport

All international flights at YLW have been suspended, airport to operate just nine flights a day

B.C.’s top doctor details prescription for safe long weekend

Yes, it includes hosting an online cooking show

BC SPCA seeks help for abandoned German shepherd puppies

Donations have ‘petered out’ as doors are closed due to COVID-19

Reality TV show about bodybuilders still filming in Okanagan amid COVID-19

Five bodybuilders from across the country flew to Kelowna to move into a house for a reality TV show

Most Read