Surprise guilty plea delays shooting trial
A surprise guilty plea has delayed the trial of a Kamloops man facing charges of attempted murder and extortion after an early-morning shooting last November.
Brandon Schell and Trevor Taylor were charged after 51-year-old Arthur Burley was shot in a downtown Kamloops apartment on Nov. 5, 2011.
Both men were slated to stand trial beginning Tuesday, Oct. 9, in B.C. Supreme Court in Kamloops — Schell on charges of attempted murder with a firearm, extortion, using a restricted weapon and aggravated assault, and Taylor on one count each of extortion, uttering threats and obstructing justice.
Minutes before the trial began, however, Taylor, 27, entered a guilty plea to the obstruction charge.
Defence lawyer Sheldon Tate, who is representing 28-year-old Schell, then asked for more time to speak with his client.
"He wants to reconsider his position as to whether he wants to proceed and in what fashion," Tate told the court.
B.C. Supreme Court Justice Dev Dley also issued an arrest warrant for Neil Tralnberg, described by Crown prosecutor Don Mann as "a material witness" who was present at the time of the shooting.
Tralnberg was scheduled to testify on the opening day of the trial, but was not at the courthouse.
At about 2:30 a.m. on Nov. 5, 2011, emergency crews were called to an alley in the 400-block between Victoria and Seymour streets for a reported shooting.
It's believed the victim approached a couple walking in the area and asked them to call an ambulance.
Schell and Taylor were arrested two days later in a dramatic takedown outside a downtown Kamloops fast-food restaurant.
At a bail hearing last year, court heard Taylor threatened witnesses to the shooting the day after it took place.
After the shooting, police said it was drug-related.
The trial of Schell and Taylor was originally supposed to run for 14 days, but Mann said he now expects it will take 10 days.
It's slated to get underway on Wednesday, Oct. 10.