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Murder charge dropped in Nanaimo shooting

NANAIMO – Fatal shooting now deemed to be in self-defence.

Murder charges against a man involved in a shootout on Wilgress Road in May 2010 were dropped today (July 24).

Simon Phillip Dockerill's trial was scheduled to begin in Supreme Court in Nanaimo at 10 a.m. today with questions around admissibility of evidence. Instead, Crown lawyers requested a stay of proceedings on the murder charge and an adjournment until Oct. 15 to deal with the charge of possession of a restricted firearm.

Crown counsel Frank Dubenski said recent developments in the police investigation satisfied the Crown that the deceased, John Charles Borden, 47, initiated the exchange of gunfire that led to his death.

"It appears that Simon Dockerill responded to the aggression in an apparent act of self-defence," said Dubenski. "Given this determination, there is no substantial likelihood of conviction on the count of murder and the proceedings on that count have been stayed. Mr. Dockerill will still go to trial in October on the issue of how and why he came into possession of a restricted handgun on the day of the shooting."

The late afternoon shooting, which left nearby businesses and residents shaken, killed Borden and left Dockerill and another man injured.

Dubenski said the Crown received information a few months ago that caused the reconsideration, but would not go into the specifics of the evidence in the case before it goes to trial in October.

"It is the Crown's position that he came to the incident in possession of a handgun," he said.