CFB SHILO — A soldier convicted of shooting another in the leg has been sentenced to prison, but is allowed to remain out of custody while pending on appeal.
On Thursday, at the conclusion of a three-day court martial, military judge Lt.-Col. J.G. Perron sentenced Master Cpl. Clarence Joseph Stillman to six years in prison and dismissed him from the Canadian Forces.
Stillman, 41, was convicted of aggravated assault and firearms offences for a shooting at CFB Shilo in the early morning of July 29, 2012.
Stillman had been invited by a pair of soldiers back to their housing unit to continue an evening of drinking.
As the result of an argument, Stillman shot one of his hosts in the leg with a .45-calibre semi-automatic handgun. He also fired a shot at the second soldier but it missed.
On Thursday, after Perron imposed the prison sentence, defence lawyer Maj. Phillipe-Luc Boutin told court that Stillman will appeal his conviction to the Court Martial Appeal Court of Canada.
The appeal will be based on a constitutional argument raised earlier in the court martial.
Boutin had applied to have the charges against Stillman dismissed, arguing that Section 130 (1) a of the National Defence Act is a violation of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
The NDA section — which effectively allows Criminal Code charges to be laid and prosecuted in the military justice system — is too broad relative to the objectives of the act, he argued.
Perron, however, disagreed. He ruled that the NDA section wasn’t a violation of the charter, and convicted and sentenced Stillman.
After announcing the intent to appeal, Boutin made a successful bid to have Stillman remain in the community even though he has been sentenced to prison.
Stillman has continued to live and work at CFB Shilo under strict conditions since the shooting.
Perron agreed that, while waiting for the appeal to be resolved one way or the other, Stillman could continue to live in the community under strict conditions.
Under the plan, Stillman will continue to live and work on base until he is formally released from the military. He’ll then move to Alberta where he’ll continue to live under conditions that include a curfew.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition October 25, 2013