Gun­fight com­bat­ant sen­tenced for sawed-off shot­gun

The Prince George Citizen - - Local - Mark NIELSEN Ci­ti­zen staff

A com­bat­ant in a drug-re­lated gun­fight out­side a Prince Ge­orge drug house was sen­tenced Fri­day to a fur­ther 2 1/2 years in prison for pos­sess­ing a loaded sawed-off shot­gun.

While B.C. Supreme Court Jus­tice Mar­guerite Church de­scribed Cody Aubrey Lorntsen, 32, as the vic­tim of an am­bush, she called his ac­tions “far from benign.”

Dur­ing the early morn­ing hours of Oct. 22, 2017, Lorntsen found him­self ex­chang­ing gun­fire in the drive­way of a 2000-block Ta­ma­rack Street home with Michael Camp­bell-Alexan­der, who was wield­ing a .22 cal­i­bre ri­fle.

Video re­trieved from a se­cu­rity cam­era at the home shows Camp­bell-Alexan­der leav­ing the house from the front door and then sta­tion­ing him­self at one end of the drive­way. When Lorntsen came out from a side door, Camp­bell-Alexan­der opened fire.

Lorntsen, who claimed to have hap­pened upon the shot­gun while in­side the home, re­turned fire and they con­tin­ued to shoot at each other while tak­ing cover be­hind ve­hi­cles parked in the drive­way, the muz­zles from their weapons flash­ing in the video.

Lorntsen was hit in the thigh and while the bul­let missed his fe­mur, he suf­fered nerve dam­age and con­tin­ues to need a cane to move around. As well, his dog, which he had on a leash, was shot dead.

Camp­bell-Alexan­der, mean­while, was hit in an an­kle with bird shot.

De­spite the wound, Lorntsen got away and, af­ter wrap­ping his leg with some cloth­ing he had with him, made his way to Ques­nel. Po­lice tracked him to an apart­ment build­ing where he was ar­rested and the shot­gun was found, loaded this time with slugs, while 17 other rounds were found in a bag Lorntsen had been us­ing to carry the weapon.

At the time, Lorntsen had just be­gun serv­ing one year pro­ba­tion for two counts of pos­sess­ing a con­trolled sub­stance and pos­sess­ing a weapon for a dan­ger­ous pur­pose, specif­i­cally bear mace, and was sup­posed to re­port to an ad­dic­tion treat­ment cen­tre in the Lower Main­land.

But on Sept. 24, 2017, he told the pro­ba­tion of­fice he was un­able to get a ride and wanted to get the con­di­tion changed. But when po­lice con­ducted a cur­few check on where he was sup­posed to be liv­ing, Lorntsen was nowhere to be found and “on the lam” un­til his ar­rest.

On Thurs­day, Lorntsen tes­ti­fied he was home­less at the time but on his way out of the city with the aim of go­ing to the treat­ment cen­tre when he came across three women who asked where they could find some metham­phetamine.

Lorntsen said he took the women to the home, and in the hope of scor­ing some him­self de­spite a lack of money, also went in­side. But upon get­ting to the top of some stairs, he came across a man he knew, but did not name, with a chrome re­volver in one hand and knives tucked into the waist band of his pants.

Lorntsen tes­ti­fied he be­gan to fear for his life when the man called him a “rat goof.”

Camp­bell-Alexan­der, who Lorntsen said he did not know at the time, was stand­ing next to the man but then left the scene. At that time, Lorntsen said he no­ticed the shot­gun tucked be­tween the arm and a cush­ion of a nearby couch, grabbed hold of it and backed down the stairs.

“I acted fast and I grabbed the gun and held it to my side and said ‘no­body’s touch­ing me, I wanna just leave,’” he told the court. “And I left out of the house and wasn’t pay­ing at­ten­tion and that’s when I got shot and pan­icked.”

Video showed Lorn­sten, his dog, and the women en­ter­ing the home shortly be­fore 6 a.m. and then Lorn­sten and his dog leav­ing a bit more than than two min­utes later when the fire­fight be­gan.

Some­thing of a side is­sue arose over whether Lorntsen was telling the truth or ac­tu­ally had the gun when he en­tered the home. Ev­i­dence from video cam­eras showed Lorntsen buy­ing a pis­tol grip from Whole­sale Sports the day be­fore but he claimed he was buy­ing it for some­one else who gave him $100 and promised to give him a hit of metham­phetamine upon bring­ing back the item.

Church found prob­lems with Lorntsen’s story but not enough to leave her be­yond rea­son­able doubt, not­ing the bag he car­ried into the home was black while the one in which po­lice found the gun was red and agree­ing with him that loaded firearms are com­mon­place in drug houses.

Had she found the other way, he was fac­ing as much as a fur­ther six months in prison.

As it stood, Crown pros­e­cu­tor Tyler Bau­man ar­gued for 5 1/2 years and de­fence coun­sel Talia Magder, who con­tended Lorntsen would be dead if not for the shot­gun, sug­gested 2 1/2 years fol­lowed by three years pro­ba­tion was ap­pro­pri­ate. Church set­tled on four years and Lorntsen, who has re­mained in cus­tody since he was ar­rested, re­ceived 1 1/2 years credit for time served prior to sen­tenc­ing, re­duc­ing the time re­main­ing to 2 1/2 years.

In July, Lorntsen pleaded guilty to pos­sess­ing a loaded re­stricted firearm, pos­sess­ing a firearm con­trary to an or­der and breach­ing an un­der­tak­ing. Nine other counts, in­clud­ing ag­gra­vated as­sault and un­law­fully dis­charg­ing a firearm, were stayed.

Camp­bell-Alexan­der re­mains in cus­tody on seven charges, in­clud­ing at­tempted mur­der, killing an an­i­mal and dis­charg­ing a firearm with in­tent to wound, and his case is cur­rently in the pre-trial stage.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.