A Victoria man charged with murder in a 2017 shooting at a Nanaimo hotel pleaded guilty to a lesser charge in B.C. Supreme Court in Nanaimo today.
Brandon Tyler Woody, 30 at the time of his arrest, was charged with one count of first-degree murder using a firearm in commission of the offence in relation to the incident at the now-closed Howard Johnson Harbourside Hotel. Woody pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in front of Judge Paul Riley on Friday morning and sentencing is scheduled for March 25-27 in Nanaimo.
A man, Andrew McLean, was found dead in the lobby of the hotel from apparent gunshot wounds at approximately 3:20 a.m. on April 19, 2017 and Woody was arrested during a traffic stop by Duncan RCMP about an hour after.
Frank Dubenski, Crown counsel, said he wasn’t able to speak about details of the case, as it is still before the courts, but said there were a number of pre-trial applications and hearings to decide validity of evidence (voir dire).
“The matters that will involve facts at the sentence hearing involve charter issues regarding the legality of the arrest of the suspect and a search and seizure,” Dubenski said. “There was also voir dires into the admissibility of a series of custodial statements that the accused gave following his arrest and it was determined following those voir dires that evidence was admissible both with respect to the stop and arrest of the accused and his statements were determined to be voluntary.”
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Paul McMurray, Woody’s legal counsel, told Riley that consideration should be given to his client’s Métis heritage in a pre-sentence report, as would be the case in a Gladue report for people with aboriginal background. While Woody wasn’t raised on a reserve or in traditional environment, it did play a role in his background and McMurray said a report with a Gladue component would be helpful.
McMurray told the News Bulletin he didn’t want to comment until after sentencing.
A trial by jury had been scheduled to begin on March 25 in Nanaimo, Daniel McLaughlin, Crown counsel spokesman, previously told the News Bulletin.