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This article was published 28/2/2020 (213 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
A man has been found guilty of shooting at a carful of people — striking a teenage girl and a man in the head — after he was assaulted and robbed in his semi-truck.
"The mere denials of the accused in the statement, on their own, in the context of all the evidence, do not raise a reasonable doubt," Justice Scott Abel said in Winnipeg Court of Queen’s Bench on Thursday.
"While I accept the accused’s evidence that he was assaulted and robbed, I do not accept that he was unaware of any shooting, or was unaware that the shotgun was in the (semi-truck)."
Randall Neill McCargar, 62, appeared shocked, then shook his head and smirked upon learning the verdict.
"I have to disagree with you, your honour," McCargar told Abel, who convicted McCargar of two counts of discharging a firearm with intent to wound or endanger life and one count of possessing a firearm without a licence.
McCargar pleaded not guilty to all three charges at the beginning of a week-long trial last year in Brandon Court of Queen’s Bench in November.
The court heard witnesses describe how McCargar shot at a group of people as they fled the parking lot behind the Petro-Canada at the intersection of First Street and the Trans-Canada Highway on July 12, 2018.
McCargar told police he was sleeping in the semi-truck when he heard a knock on the driver’s-side door and opened it to find a woman he’d met at a downtown bar the night prior.
When he opened the door, a man and a woman forced their way into the semi and immediately started beating him, he testified.
McCargar started screaming at them to get out, he said, and was eventually able to push them out of the semi-truck.
At some point in the scuffle, McCargar said they took his wallet, which contained approximately $13,000.
The teenage girl who sustained gunshot wounds to her face and neck testified she went for a ride with a group of family friends to get alcohol from the vendor, but they drove to the North Hill instead, parking in the lot behind the Petro-Canada at the intersection of First Street and the Trans-Canada Highway.
The other passengers — three women and one man — got out and approached the driver’s-side door of a semi-truck parked in the lot, the girl said, while she stayed in the vehicle.
Following the altercation with McCargar, the other passengers rushed back to the vehicle and they began to drive away.
One of the passengers who went into the semi-truck testified that he looked back and saw McCargar holding a shotgun. He said he put his hands up to his head and was shot.
In his closing arguments, McCargar — who represented himself — told the court he didn’t shoot anybody and that he was set up, adding he was not the actual driver of the semi-truck but hired on as a helper by the actual driver.
The Alberta driver’s licence presented to McCargar by police with his name, date of birth and photo on it was not him, but the alleged driver, he said.
McCargar also argued his statement to police wasn’t voluntary and therefore was not admissible as evidence.
Abel said in his decision the statement was voluntary and admissible.
"Having seen the statement, the manner in which the accused responded to questions and provided those answers, as well as the accused refusing the answer certain questions during the interview, leads me to the conclusion the accused was not under duress during the interview," Abel said.
"The accused was aware of what he was saying and to who he was saying it. Several times the accused attempted to redirect the interview, by agreeing to discuss the assault and robbery that took place, refusing to discuss any shooting or shotgun."
Although McCargar denied the shooting, Abel said McCargar’s evidence did not raise a reasonable doubt, while the evidence put forward by the Crown proved their case.
» email@example.com, with files from the
Winnipeg Free Press
» Twitter: @erindebooy
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