Hearing underway for accused in mill shooting

The preliminary hearing for the accused in the April 30 shooting at the Nanaimo Western Forest Products mill is expected to end Friday.

The preliminary hearing for the accused in the April 30 shooting at the Nanaimo Western Forest Products mill began Tuesday and is expected to end Friday.

Kevin Douglas Addison, 47 at the time of the incident, stands charged with two counts of first-degree murder and two counts of attempted murder.

A publication ban was imposed on evidence presented over the four days and the hearing will determine whether there is enough evidence for Addison to stand trial.

“Generally speaking, in a preliminary inquiry, evidence is presented, sometimes admissions are made, just to save time, other times they’re not, but it’s some of the same features as a trial. Witnesses are called and questioned and the court receives the evidence,” said John Gustafson, Addison’s legal counsel.

The Crown can call witnesses and although he couldn’t comment specifically on the Addison hearing, Gustafson said the defence has the option of calling evidence at a preliminary hearing, although it is quite rare.

Gustafson also said a plea from Addison wouldn’t be forthcoming at the hearing.

“Pleas normally wouldn’t be entered at this stage. That doesn’t happen until the matter is before the supreme court,” said Gustafson.

Scott Van Alstine, Crown counsel, said he couldn’t comment.

There is a lot of interest in the hearing, as witnessed by the packed courtroom Tuesday and as a result, proceedings were moved to a larger venue for the duration.

Addison was present Tuesday, clad in a black and grey and wearing glasses.

reporter@nanaimobulletin.com, @KarlYuBulletin on Twitter