—By Cheryl Wierda
A man who shot his tenant during an argument in 2016 faces another 40 months behind bars.
Charles Maskell, 61, was sentenced Monday following his earlier guilty plea to assault causing bodily harm and possession of a loaded firearm in connection to the Dec. 2, 2016 West Kelowna shooting. He was also sentenced for using bear spray on a loss prevention officer last summer.
Back in 2016, Maskell had run into hard times after his mother and brother, who were co-owners of his Glenrosa house, died. Shortly after, he had a heart attack and stroke.
To help cope with the bills, he brought in roommates to help maintain and pay for his Granada Crescent home. However, all were drug users, the court heard, and Maskell also began to actively use heroin.
On the afternoon of Dec. 2, 2016, Maskell was readying to show the house to a prospective buyer when he got into an argument with tenant Robert Delve.
At one point, Delve shoved Maskell, who responded by going to his bedroom and arming himself with a handgun. He fired a warning shot into the door frame, the court heard.
Delve did not back down from the argument.
“Mr. Maskell fired a second shot, intending to scare Mr. Delve,” Judge Ellen Burdett said.
Instead, the shot ended up in Delve’s abdomen. It missed all major organs, the court heard, and Delve has since recovered.
Months later, in August 2018, Maskell was shopping at Walmart when a loss prevention officer saw him putting meat in his pocket. When confronted about it, Maskell pulled out bear spray and sprayed the man in the face. The spray also affected a number of people nearby, including a young child.
“There was no reason whatsoever for his actions,” Burdett said.
In giving her decision, Burdett rejected the defence’s request that Maskell be sentenced to 30 months, minus time served, and instead went with a sentence close to the Crown’s request. They had asked for three-and-a-half to four years in custody.
Burdett ruled that Maskell should be sentenced to 3.5 years for the possession of a loaded firearm charge. A three-year sentence for the charge of assault with a weapon will be served concurrently.
After credit for 249 days already served, the sentence will effectively be 40 more months in jail.
That sentence will be followed by six months in custody for the assault with a weapon charge stemming from bear spraying the Walmart loss prevention officer.
The remaining charges Maskell faced in connection with the two incidents have been stayed.
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