West Kelowna man who shot roommate to be sentenced next year

A West Kelowna man who shot one of his tenants and, months later while on bail, bear-sprayed a crowd outside of a Walmart, could be in prison until he's a senior citizen.

Kelowna Law Courts file photo

Kelowna Law Courts file photo

A West Kelowna man who shot one of his tenants and, months later while on bail, bear-sprayed a crowd outside of a Walmart, could be in prison until he’s a senior citizen.

Charles William Maskell, 61, was arrested December 2016 for shooting his roommate, Robert Delve and will be sentenced in the new year.

In sentencing submissions Friday, Crown counsel Nick Lerfold told the court that he’d like to see Maskell serve somewhere between three-and-a-half to four years behind bars for the two crimes.

Maskell, Lerfold told the court, had let Delve and three others move in to the top floor of his ’70s-style Glenrosa area home to help him renovate earlier in 2016. Their help came in exchange for rent. He had two other tenants who were paying rent in the basement.

Maskell had fallen onto hard times, and had hoped to sell the property to stay afloat.

On Dec. 2, 2016, a real estate agent had scheduled a showing, and the tenants of the home were running around trying to get the house ready.

Between noon and 12:30 p.m., Delve and Maskell got into an argument.

Each man says the other was upset and causing the argument.

What they agree on, however, is that at some point Delve shoved Maskell into the wall of the dining room.

Maskell hit the floor, and Delve said he went onto the deck of the house which was the point of entry for Maskell’s room.

At first Delve walked by, but then he doubled back and started to enter Maskell’s room.

Maskell was in the room with his revolver, and fired off a shot he claims was to scare away Delve. That bullet went into the doorframe at abdomen height.

Delve kept advancing, said Lerfold, and Maskell shot again, this time shooting Lerfold.

Maskell went and alerted the other people in the home and they took Delve to the Glenrosa ambulance where he was treated and transported to the hospital.

He was stitched up and the bullet, which missed his essential organs, is still him him today, said Lerfold.

“(Delve) declined to offer a victim impact statement,” said Lerfold.

Months after the shooting, after being released on bail, Maskell was living in Beaverdell and had travelled into Kelowna’s Walmart to get groceries.

A loss prevention officer watched him grab a bag of deli meat and put it in his back, right pocket during his trip.

When he went to the cashier, he paid for the other items he’d collected but not the deli meat. The loss prevention officer then stopped him and asked if he’d paid for the meat in his pocket.

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Maskell told him that he forgot he had it there, and dropped it.

Then Maskell said “get a load of this” and bear sprayed the loss prevention officer twice. In the process, two women and three children were also sprayed.

Lerfold said that it was very similar to a robbery.

In his defence, lawyer Paul McMurray told Kelowna provincial court judge Ellen Burdett that Maskell is a former tattoo artist and was being exploited by Delve and another tenant when the shooting occurred. McMurray said his client had fallen on hard times both emotionally and financially after his mother and brother died. They had bought the West Kelowna home together and when he died Maskell didn’t have enough money to pay the mortgage, which is why he turned to Delve and the others.

His lawyer claimed that Delve took at least $15,000 out of his bank account and got him hooked on drugs.

Because of the rough condition he was in McMurray said he thought that a sentence less than two years, once time served was factored in, would be appropriate and would keep Maskell out of a federal prison and in provincial custody.

Originally, the charges he faced included attempted murder for a criminal organization, but on Monday he pleaded guilty to assault causing bodily harm and possession of a loaded weapon.

He also pleaded guilty to the charge of assault with a weapon for the Walmart offence.

Burdett will make her decision in the new year.

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