UPDATE: Victoria drive-by shooting couple sentenced after pleading guilty

Dennis Fletcher, 24, and Whitney Furber, 26, were high on meth when shooting occurred outside downtown Victoria nightclub

Dennis Grant Fletcher will spend the next eight years in a federal prison after he recklessly fired 14 shots into a crowd outside a downtown Victoria nightclub last winter.

The Feb. 25 incident outside Club 9one9 injured a doorman and led to a high-speed chase through Victoria and Saanich.

Justice Mary Humphries agreed to a joint submission from Crown and defence which gave Fletcher, 24, an eight-year sentence for attempted murder, and concurrent sentences for aggravated assault, discharging a prohibited firearm and possession of a prohibited firearm. He also faces a firearms and explosives ban for life and must submit to a DNA sample.

Fletcher’s co-accused, Whitney Rae Furber, 26, was given a three-year sentence for possession of a prohibited firearm and six months for dangerous driving. She will also be prohibited from driving for two years upon release.

The couple had been ejected from the nightclub just prior to the shooting and were under the influence on methamphetamine and alcohol when they hatched their ill-advised scheme, Humphries said.

During their ejection, Fletcher was overheard by witnesses threatening a bouncer and seen motioning a pistol with his hand, saying, “Bang, bang. You’re dead.”

Furbur then drove past the nightclub moments later, as Fletcher unleashed a barrage of bullets on the unsuspecting crowd from the passenger seat.

One bullet penetrated the chair of a cover charge attendant who was on a break at the time, and all but doorman Michael Mizerski were physically unharmed.

“It’s extremely fortunate more people weren’t hurt or killed in this situation,” Humphries said during her summary of facts.

VicPD then engaged Furber in a high-speed chase, where she hit speeds of 100 km/hr on Hillside Avenue and at one point drove on the wrong side of the median. Until today, Furber had no criminal record and only a single driving infraction, Humphries said.

Furber was arrested minutes later after abandoning the vehicle, while Fletcher managed to evade police for three days.

Both convicts were clearly making decisions that were “fuelled by drugs,” she said.

After their sentences were read out, Fletcher quickly exited the courtroom in handcuffs, while Furber locked eyes with a supporter and smiled, her shackles forcing quick, shuffled steps towards the exit.

In a statement, VicPD said public help was instrumental in the successful convictions.

“In some cities, shootings like this happen on a regular basis,” said Insp. John Craig with VicPD’s investigative services division. “We are proud to serve two communities who refuse to let violent acts like this become commonplace. When these events do occur, we are proud to work alongside our citizens to set things right.”

dpalmer@vicnews.com

 

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