Two men were shot at the Salmon Arm Church of Christ during a service on Sunday, April 14. (File photo)

Trial of man accused in church shooting begins July 21 in Salmon Arm

Proceedings scheduled for just two days in BC Supreme Court

The murder trial of Matrix Gathergood is not expected to include testimony from witnesses to the Salmon Arm shooting.

The BC Supreme Court trial of 25-year-old Gathergood will begin in Salmon Arm today, Tuesday, July 21.

Gathergood is facing a charge of murder regarding the shooting death on April 14, 2019, of Gordon Parmenter, as well as aggravated assault in connection with the wounding of Paul Derkach. The shootings took place at the Salmon Arm Church of Christ.

Crown counsel Alison Buchanan said she and defence attorney Jonathan Avis have agreed upon a statement of facts, so just one witness is expected to be called by the defence, the psychiatrist who examined Gathergood.

Read more: Man accused in Salmon Arm church shooting to stand trial by judge alone

Read more: Accused in Salmon Arm church shooting waives right to preliminary inquiry

It’s expected the defence of not criminally responsible by reason of mental disorder will be raised, based on the psychiatrist’s evaluation.

A continuation of the trial has been set for a second day, Wednesday, July 23, but it’s possible it could wrap up in one day.

Gathergood will be standing trial by judge alone, no jury. Because of COVID-19 restrictions, seating in the courtroom will be very limited.

Along with murder and aggravated assault, Gathergood was charged with arson in relation to inhabited property. That charge stems from a fire that badly damaged the Parmenter family home on March 14, a month before the fatal shooting.


marthawickett@saobserver.net
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