The Crown has a few weeks to determine whether it can seek a dangerous offender status before a man found guilty of manslaughter is sentenced.
Gordon Camille, 67, was convicted four months ago in connection with the stabbing death of 49-year-old Dennis Adolph, who was found on Jan. 26, 2016, in the 4 Seasons Motel suite in Valleyview he shared with Camille.
Camille has a violent criminal record and the Crown has been working on a dangerous offender application — a process that could see him jailed indefinitely.
However, during a teleconference in B.C. Supreme Court last Friday, Justice Heather Holmes said she was “appalled that the process within the Crown is taking so long” after hearing prosecutor Sarah Firestone is still waiting to hear back from the attorney general’s office.
With the Crown not yet in a position to seek a dangerous offender application, Holmes scheduled Aug. 13 to Aug. 15 as sentencing dates for Camille.
He was convicted of manslaughter on March 13, at which time the Crown sought the dangerous offender designation. This led to the production of an assessment report, which focuses on the offender’s risk to re-offend and his or her prospects for treatment in the community.
The Crown is now waiting to receive consent from the attorney general to proceed to a hearing for a dangerous offender designation.
Holmes noted the brief assessment report was released last month and found it “very difficult to understand how it can take the Crown more than a month — and it will be something like six weeks on the anticipated timeline now — simply to make a decision about what avenue to pursue on the sentencing proceeding.”
If the Crown does get consent from the attorney general before the August sentencing dates, it can apply to adjourn those dates and move forward with a dangerous offender application.
“My lady, I can only say in the strongest terms this is a process that must take time by virtue of the fact there is legal analysis,” Firestone told Holmes. “It’s not a rubber-stamp process and there are complex legal issues here.”
Firestone urged Holmes not to proceed with fixing the August sentencing dates and allow the Crown time to complete the process.
“I think that time has expired. It’s already been an extraordinary amount of time,” Holmes replied.
“There’s 90 days permitted by the [criminal] code for the writing of the report and the analysis. I think six weeks beyond that is well within the time,” Firestone countered.
Holmes maintained the scheduled dates.
She said Camille and the public have an interest in the matter being resolved, noting the court has an obligation “to move things along.”
Camille’s criminal record includes another manslaughter conviction in 1984. In that instance, he drunkenly shot his spouse while she sat in an outhouse, then confessed to a neighbour and, later, to police.
He has also served jail time for two separate stabbings in Kamloops — one in 1998 and the other in 2008 — as well as a 1994 stomping incident. Each of the offences, as well as Adolph's slaying, involved alcohol use.
If unsuccessful in obtaining consent ahead of time, the Crown may be able to pursue a dangerous offender application after Camille is sentenced if it meets the criteria outlined in the criminal code.