Defence lawyer: Kevin Addison should be convicted of manslaughter

The accused in an April 2014 shooting at a Nanaimo sawmill wasn’t in the frame of mind to knowingly commit murder, said his lawyer.

Marcy Lunn

Marcy Lunn

The accused in a 2014 shooting at a Nanaimo sawmill wasn’t in the frame of mind to knowingly commit murder and should be convicted of manslaughter, said his lawyer in closing arguments.

Kevin Douglas Addison, 49, accused in the April 30, 2014 Western Forest Products mill shooting in downtown Nanaimo, is charged with two counts of first-degree murder and two counts of attempted murder. Michael Lunn and Fred McEachern were killed in the incident, while Tony Sudar and Earl Kelly were injured.

Closing arguments were made Monday at B.C. Supreme Court in Nanaimo. John Gustafson, Addison’s legal counsel, told jurors that they couldn’t be satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt that his client had the “required intent.”

Addison was not recalled to the mill when it re-opened in November 2010, after an approximate two-year closure, and he filed unsuccessful grievances in order to re-gain employment, but none of the instances painted a picture a man who was “stewing with anger,” said Gustafson.

Gustafson also pointed to testimony from Dr. Robin Love, Addison’s family doctor and a Crown witness, who said Addison was suffering from depression. Gustafson said Addison began acting less rationally and it was something the jury must consider.

In an RCMP video interview of Addison’s late mother Lorraine, part of Gustafson’s case, said he had a history of depression.

Love had prescribed medication to Addison, but he had testified that he flushed it down the toilet and didn’t book a follow up appointment, as Love had suggested.

While Addison was able to find work at Western Forest Products’ Ladysmith mill, Gustafson said he had trouble concentrating at work and felt embarrassed.

Addison began acting more irrational and began thinking bizarre thoughts and began focusing on former Nanaimo mill manager Andy Vanger, thinking Vanger ruined his career and was sabotaging his employment insurance claims.

Vanger was in an office with Kelly and McEachern at the time of the incident and managed to subdue Addison with assistance with McEachern. Addison had testified the gun went off twice during the altercation.

That didn’t fit a deliberate shot, said Gustafson.

In terms of Lunn, who was shot in the arm in the parking lot, there was no doubt a shot was fired, no doubt it hit Lunn and not doubt it caused his death. Addison testified his only thought pattern at the time was only “raise and shoot.” To be convicted, there had to be intended death or bodily harm, said Gustafson.

Gustafson said Addison was in a depressed, unthinking, unfocused state of mind, not particularly angry and based on that, jurors should find without a reasonable doubt to acquit Addison of first-degree murder and instead convicted of manslaughter.

Scott Van Alstine, Crown counsel, said Addison had the intent and sought revenge after getting laid off from the mill.

Van Alstine said Addison had said Vanger had messed him up and asked if Vanger knew who he was during the exchange.

Van Alstine pointed to the fact Love never referred Addison to an expert in regards to the depression. Van Alstine referred to it as borderline of moderately severe depression.