Trevor Shannon guilty of second degree murder
Family and friends of Evan Wilkes let out sighs of relief when the jury deciding his killer's fate returned to court with a guilty verdict after two days of deliberations.
Trevor Shannon, 27, was found guilty of second degree murder for fatally shooting Wilkes during an argument at a 2007 high school graduation party.
"The argument should have been inconsequential," said BC Supreme Court Justice Bruce Butler, Friday, before giving Shannon a life sentence with eligibility to parole in 10 years.
"Wilkes (taunted) Trevor Shannon….But (Shannon's) actions were callous and without reason."
According to testimony rendered throughout the trial, Shannon, then 22, had gone with a small group of friends to a Vimy Avenue party that was in full swing, April 2007.
While he knew a few people there, conditions between Shannon's friends and the teens quickly showed signs of strain that culminated in a scuffle.
To end a building conflict Shannon, then a drug-dealer who carried a gun for protection, pulled out his weapon.
It worked. The threat was defused when the gun appeared, but not long after that Shannon and his friends were expelled from the house.
That's when Wilkes, 18, and Shannon had their fatal altercation.
Standing outside the house, in the driveway, Wilkes mocked Shannon for carrying a fake gun.
He got into Shannon's face saying something to the effect of, if he had the "balls to carry a gun" he should have the "balls to use it."
Shannon told him several times to "say it one more time," said Crown Counsel Duncan Campbell, during his closing statement, Tuesday.
"But Evan Wilkes wasn't afraid of the man with a gun," he said.
Shannon swung the gun toward Wilkes's head, and it went off.
He claimed it was an accident, but the jury must have believed he intended the fatal blast to come back with the second degree murder conviction.
It's the second time that Shannon's been handed a guilty verdict. He was tried in 2008 for the crime, and appealed that conviction.
His won in 2011, and the re-trial started three weeks ago.
Now 27, Shannon has spent nearly five years behind bars—which will be used against the sentence he got Friday— but Justice Butler said he felt he was a strong candidate for rehabilitation.
He has a Grade 12 education, and is a "talented and articulate young man."
"While this was a senseless, meaningless and irrational, it was a momentary loss of control," he said, also noting "There is no more serious offence than the crime of murder."
Shannon declined an opportunity to speak before sentencing and appeared calm when the verdict and sentence was deilvered.
Both Wilkes and Shannon's family declined to offer comment after the sentence was rendered.