Owen Dale Charpentier’s fate will be revealed Nov. 4 when the sentence in his ‘manslaughter with a firearm’ case is handed down by Justice Alan Ross.
The date was set Aug. 22 as Charpentier, 25, appeared by video at the Chilliwack Law Courts. Sentencing submissions have been made by Crown counsel and defence. Crown counsel Henry Waldock is seeking a eight- to nine-year sentence, minus time served, while defence has argued for six years.
Both sides spent a week at a ‘Gardiner hearing’ in mid-June presenting different versions of the same event. While Charpentier pleaded guilty to shooting Keith Baldwin, 27, in the head on Oct. 22, 2019, during a dispute near a car wash at Yale Road and Fletcher Street, the hearing was necessary to provide context for sentencing.
Seeking a lesser sentence, defence suggested Charpentier was motivated by self protection when he pulled the trigger, fearful as Baldwin advanced on him. The shot was meant to be a warning, with Baldwin portrayed as the aggressor.
“There can be no doubt Mr. Baldwin approached Mr. Charpentier with violence in mind,” defence counsel Simon Buck said at the hearing.
Waldock countered with a version that had Baldwin retreating as Charpentier fired the sawed-off .22 rifle.
He described manslaughter sentencing as “immense,” noting it could range from accidental killing on one end, to intentional killing on the other.
“This one is closer to the murder end,” Waldock said.
In the days and weeks leading up to the fatal shooting, Charpentier and Baldwin had been embroiled in an dispute after Baldwin caught Charpentier allegedly breaking into his car. Baldwin believed Charpentier damaged the vehicle in the attempt, and had been seeking money.
On the final day of the Gardiner hearing, Charpentier delivered an apology to Baldwin’s family, saying there isn’t a day that goes by that he doesn’t think of Keith.
An emotional series of victim-impact statements followed, and Baldwin’s mother, Julie MacDonald, asked if she could hug Charpentier.
Justice Alan Ross denied that request for security reasons.
Charpentier is well known to police, classified as a ‘prolific offender.’
– With files from Jennifer Feinberg