Kelowna Law Courts. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)

Vernon man faces new shooting trial after he was jailed for firing gun above girlfriend’s head

Derek Ryan Baptiste allegedly fired two shots into a basement suite in 2018, one of which struck a woman in the neck

A Vernon man currently imprisoned for shooting a gun over his girlfriend’s head is back on trial for allegedly shooting a woman in her living room earlier that same day.

Derek Ryan Baptiste appeared in B.C. Supreme Court in Kelowna on Tuesday, Sept. 8, facing trial for three charges related to a Jan. 6, 2018 incident in which he allegedly fired two shots into a basement suite on 24th Avenue in Vernon — one of those bullets striking a woman in the neck, nearly killing her.

He pleaded not guilty to all three charges including the unlawful discharge of a firearm, aggravated assault and use of a firearm to commit an indictable offence.

The Crown began its case Tuesday morning, alleging Baptiste drove his father’s car to 3709 24th Avenue just after 1 a.m. on Jan. 6, 2018, and unloaded two shots from a rifle through a basement window into a living room. Shortly after, a neighbour called 911 to report a woman had been struck in the neck.

At the time, RCMP stated that the woman sustained life-threatening injuries.

From there, Baptiste is alleged to have gone back to his the trailer owned by his father, Richard Oppenheimer, where he and his girlfriend, Joanne Jack, shared a room. The Crown said Oppenheimer will testify he heard a gunshot ring out in the room below him, after which Baptiste left the trailer, again in his father’s vehicle.

In the early morning hours Jan. 8, 2018, RCMP responded to a car that had gone off-road near the fire hall on Westside Road near Vernon, where they located Baptiste in the drivers’ seat and a loaded rifle in the car that matched the discarded cartridges found at both scenes.

The 24-day trial is anticipated to continue, in Kelowna, throughout September and early October.

READ MORE: Firearm, aggravated assault charges filed against Vernon man

READ MORE: Sentencing date set for Kelowna man who pleaded guilty to possessing child porn

Previously, Baptiste was handed a four-and-a-half-year sentence after pointing and shooting a gun over the head of his then-girlfriend, Jack — also on Jan. 6, 2018. According to court documents from the December 2019 sentencing, Baptiste pointed a rifle at Jack’s head in the two’s shared room at Oppenheimer’s home and told her it was “the only way she was going to leave the situation she was in.” He aimed the rifle above her head and pulled the trigger.

The two had been drinking heavily at the time of the incident and were using heroin and methamphetamine daily. During that trial, Baptiste claimed he was suffering from painful withdrawal symptoms, as they had used the last of their drugs the previous day.

Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email: michael.rodriguez@kelownacapnews.com


@michaelrdrguez
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC Supreme Court

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

Just Posted

The last forum before the election on Saturday focused on health care.
Boundary-Similkameen candidates talk health care over digital forum

The Support Our Health Care Society hosted the forum

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
Interior Health reports 18 COVID-19 cases, highest daily count since July

The total of COVID-19 cases in the region is now at 662

A Kelowna clinic decided to immunize their patients in a drive-thru flu clinic earlier this month. (Twila Amato - Black Press Media)
Interior Health anticipates increase in flu vaccinations this season

Some 300,000 doses of flu vaccine ready for distribution across Southern Interior

A truck and trailer left Reservoir Road north of Penticton earlier on Oct. 23. (Facebook)
UPDATE: Highway 3 closed east of Osoyoos

Police have re-opened Highway 33 at Idabel Lake

Snowfall in the Okanagan shatters records. (Contributed)
Snowfall in Okanagan breaks records dated back to 1899

Penticton has received over 10 cm today, surpassing the 8 cm record set in 1957

B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry gives a daily briefing on COVID-19 cases at an almost empty B.C. Legislature press theatre in Victoria, B.C., on March 25, 2020. (Don Craig/B.C. government)
B.C. sees 223 new COVID-19 cases, now 2,009 active

Two new care home outbreaks in Surrey, Burnaby

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Thanks to efforts by a Kelowna shelter and Elections BC, anyone who wishes to can vote in the 2020 BC Provincial Election, even if they don’t have a fixed address. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)
Kelowna group ensures people experiencing homelessness can vote

Shelter supervisor says voting ‘a fundamental right’ even for those without a fixed address

The Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen is planning to implement transit service in the West Bench area in September, 2021. (Black Press file photo)
Regional district to bring transit service to West Bench in 2021

Residents of area near Penticton will be consulted before plans are finalized

(Big White Ski Resort photo)
Big White receives 21 cm of snow in 24 hours

Resort’s snow base 41 cm deep, one month until opening day

The deer were allegedly shot within Princeton town limits, late at night. Black Press File Photo.
Armed man, in full camouflage, allegedly shoots deer in downtown Princeton

‘The list of charges goes on and on,’ said RCMP Sgt. Rob Hughes

100 Mile Conservation officer Joel Kline gingerly holds an injured but very much alive bald eagle after extracting him from a motorist’s minivan. (Photo submitted)
B.C. driver thought he retrieved a dead bald eagle – until it came to life in his backseat

The driver believed the bird to be dead and not unconscious as it turned out to be

Members of Summerland council and municipal staff were present on Oct. 22 to officially open the expanded Summerland landfill facility. From left are manager of environmental services Candace Pilling, Coun. Erin Carlson, Coun. Marty Van Alphen, acting mayor Doug Holmes, Coun. Richard Barkwill and Coun. Erin Trainer. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
Changes made to entrance of Summerland landfill

Upgrades came at cost of $500,000

Most Read