Robert John Sheppard, a 33-year-old Lethbridge man, has been acquitted of attempted murder and found guilty of eight charges, including assault with a weapon.
The charges were laid in April 2018 when the accused shot at a home on the west side of the city — a “targeted incident,” according to police, as Sheppard had been in a relationship with Erika Grintals, one of the four people in the house at the time.
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The judge said he believes Sheppard’s initial reason for going to Grintals’ residence was to discuss the challenges they were having in their relationship.
With all factors being considered, he added, the accused may have had the intention of killing Grintals when he fired the shots.
However, the judge explained, Sheppard could also have had other intentions, such as scaring her, causing damage to her property or just being reckless, regardless of whether she would be wounded.
The judge noted that although these possibilities are less likely than the intention of shooting to kill, they are still plausible, and as a result, Sheppard was found not guilty of attempted murder.
Sheppard has been found guilty of one count of assault with a weapon — relating to Grintals — and seven other firearm-related charges.
“I can’t recall what happened that night,” Sheppard told court. “I can’t take it back.”
Sheppard said he regrets that night, adding that, “in theory, you don’t do that to someone you love.”
The Crown is asking for a jail sentence of six to eight years, with the defence hoping for three-and-a-half to five years.
While the sentence was originally supposed to be handed out on Monday, the judge said he needs more time to review details.
Sentencing will occur later this summer.
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