Trial of accused in Salmon Arm church shooting expected to be brief

Crown won’t dispute not criminally responsible by way of a mental disorder defence

  • Jun. 2, 2020 11:50 a.m.

By Tim Petruk

Kamloops This Week

A gunman alleged to have killed one man and wounded another in a shooting inside a Salmon Arm church last year is expected to be found not criminally responsible by way of a mental disorder (NCRMD), a judge has been told.

Lawyers met on Tuesday for a brief hearing in B.C. Supreme Court in Kamloops ahead of the trial of Matrix Gathergood, who is facing one count each of murder and aggravated assault stemming from the April 14, 2019, shootings at the Church of Christ in Salmon Arm.

Gordon Parmenter was shot to death in the church, while Paul Derkach suffered gunshot wounds.

Gathergood, 25, has been in custody since his arrest following the shooting. He underwent a court-ordered psychological assessment last September.

His trial is slated to take place on July 21 in in Salmon Arm. In court on Tuesday, B.C. Supreme Court Justice Dev Dley was told the trial would be brief.

Read more: Man accused in Salmon Arm church shooting to stand trial by judge alone

Read more: Victim’s son speaks about Salmon Arm church shooting on first anniversary

Read more: Shuswap church reaches out to fellow church in Texas after shooting

“We’re only anticipating there will be one witness — the psychologist that examined Mr. Gathergood and provided the opinion that Mr. Gathergood qualifies for an NCRMD defence,” Crown prosecutor Alison Buchanan said.

“The report is very thorough. I don’t think it’s going to be a lengthy examination or cross-examination.”

When an NCRMD ruling is made, an offender is dealt with by the B.C. Review Board, rather than criminally. The review board can detain a person in a medical facility and order treatment and supervision in the community as it sees fit.

Buchanan and defence lawyer Jonathan Avis said they expect to file an agreed statement of facts at the beginning of Gathergood’s trial that will outline the circumstances of the shootings.

“The Crown will not be arguing that he does not qualify for an NCRMD defence,” Buchanan said.

Gathergood is also facing an unrelated arson charge stemming from an incident a month before the shooting. In that instance, he is alleged to have set fire to Parmenter’s home.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

CourtSalmon ArmShooting

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Dog rescued from rocky ledge in Summerland

Penticton Search and Rescue members perform high angle rescue

QUIZ: Put your knowledge of Canada to the test

How much do you know about our country?

Penticton Speedway prepares for first race of the year

Limited capacity and social distancing protocols in place after track closed for months

Locals vocal about proposed 300-plus home development in Naramata Bench

The developers, Canadian Horizons, will likely apply for land zoning in August or September

Despite challenges, Syilx Nation language students celebrate graduation

Students learning Nsyilxcn, a critically endangered Indigenous language, are celebrating graduation

North Okanagan man gives back for Canada Day

Food packages given away to those living on the streets in Vernon

PHOTOS: Dual rallies take over Legislature lawn on Canada Day

Resist Canada 153 highlighted colonization and genocide, Unify the People called COVID a hoax

Gov. General honours Canadians for bravery, volunteer service

Five categories of winners presented on Canada Day

COVID-19: Should non-medical masks be mandatory in Canada?

New poll shows Canadians are divided on the rules around mandatory masks

Okanagan mine makes way for industrial project

Council holds a special meeting to rezone property

In photos and video: Colourful Canada Day parade rolls through Sicamous

Patriotic procession allows community to celebrate together while maintaining distance

Okanagan arsonist sentenced to 3 years probation

Arsonist must pay $500 to each party affected, no access to drugs, alcohol or fire starters

Northbound lane of Coquihalla closed after vehicle incident near Hope

A northbound lane is closed just north of the Great Bear Snowshed, according to DriveBC

Water floods North Okanagan skate park, playground

Polson Park remains closed following Tuesday storms

Most Read