The man that pleaded guilty to second-degree murder after a fatal shooting at a Nanaimo hotel in 2017 broke the law because he feared for his wife’s safety, says his lawyer.
Brandon Tyler Woody, 30 at the time of the April 19, 2017 incident, was initially charged with first-degree murder, but pleaded guilty to the lesser charge in February. Sentencing began Monday in B.C. Supreme Court in Nanaimo.
Woody claimed, according to Crown, that he had turned down money for the killing initially, but the people who ordered the killing “didn’t take no for an answer” and saying no again would mean they would go after his wife.
Paul McMurray, Woody’s legal counsel, told Riley on Tuesday that Woody was concerned about the safety of his wife and the threats that had been posed. The statement of facts referenced a “burner phone” being used by someone apparently giving directions to Woody, and citing cellphone records, McMurray said the phone, activated on April 18, 2017, was in the Esquimalt area, which was an eight-minute drive from Woody’s house.
McMurray said Woody wasn’t trying to hide and was heading home to his wife, “the person he was trying to protect and the reason, he says, he did this.” He told police during an interview that he was only concerned about the safety of one person, said McMurray, which was his wife. The criminals had more resources to get at Woody’s wife than the RCMP had to protect, said McMurray.
In response, Frank Dubenski, Crown counsel, said there was nothing in text messages from the burner cellphone suggesting any evidence of threat, nor was there anything from witnesses to confirm the existence of threat and there was no evidence from his spouse that Woody alerted her to a threat.
Security camera footage at the now-closed Howard Johnson Harbourside Hotel showed Andrew McLean, 34 when he died, being shot and killed.
In the video, a man wearing a black mask, walked up to a man, identified as McLean, and fired two shots into his back with a handgun. After McLean fell, the gun was place in close proximity to the victim’s head and he was shot twice more.
Dubenski told Judge Paul Riley on Monday that the attack was “a brutal, shocking and chilling account of an execution killing carried out with remarkable precision.”
Riley is set to render his decision tomorrow, Wednesday, March 27.
– With files from Chris Bush