The man charged in what police called a gang-style execution has been found guilty of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for 25 years.
Christopher Fleig, 28, was charged with first-degree murder in connection with the 2009 shooting death of Brandon Prevey, 29. He was also charged with conspiracy to commit murder against Nick Soto but that charge was dropped during the trial.
Prevey was shot and killed in what police say was a gang-style execution while sitting in his vehicle in the Inglewood area of Red Deer during the early morning hours of April 5, 2009. Fleig has denied he had any involvement in the murder and was in the area at the same time as the shooting to visit a friend a couple of blocks away.
Fleig’s trial began on April 30th in Red Deer. Justice Kirk Sisson found Fleig guilty of first-degree murder last week. Fleig, who showed little emotion when the verdict was read, said he plans to appeal the decision.
A number of family and friends of Prevey attended court when the verdict came down. Prevey’s mother, Linda Prevey, was also there and before court began held up a picture of Brandon’s four-year-old daughter when Fleig entered the room.
When the guilty verdict was handed down friends and family of Brandon cheered and applauded before Sisson requested members be removed from the courtroom.
Linda spoke in court of her four-year-old granddaughter.
“My granddaughter has nightmares at night and asks ‘where is my daddy?’” said Linda. “Brandon will never be at her graduation. He will never get to see her get married. She is the one that is losing out the most.”
After Linda spoke, Fleig was given an opportunity to speak and addressed Brandon’s family and friends.
“Brandon was no more innocent than myself when it came to committing crimes. We were both in a gang. It’s an eye for an eye so to speak. When you knock on the devil’s door enough times, eventually he will answer.
“The man that killed your son walked free. The man that drove the vehicle involved walked free. I tried to make peace with Brandon. We all chose the path we chose – if his (Brandon’s) was death, it was death. If mine is 25 years in prison, so be it.”
A woman in the courtroom called Fleig “the devil”. Sisson turned to the gallery and said, “I’ve had just about enough of people making displays out there.”
Outside of the courthouse, Crown Prosecutor Jason Snider said it is nice to see that justice had been done.
“It was a challenge to put this case together. The Red Deer RCMP were very helpful with the case,” he said.
Meanwhile, in March 2011, Pedro Saenz, 23, and Brandon Cody Smith, 24, who were charged with first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder in relation to Brandon’s death, had their charges stayed. In April of last year, Christopher McIvor, 22, who was charged with first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit to murder, also had his charges stayed.
A stay of proceedings can either be temporary or permanent but it is unlikely the charges will be reinstated.
During the trial Fleig testified that Saenz was the person who shot Brandon and McIvor drove the vehicle that witnesses saw fleeing the scene.
“These charges were stayed due to lack of evidence. At the time we did not have the evidence to move forward,” said Snider, adding the charges would not be reinstated. “In a major case like this where there were multiple people involved it is disheartening to see only one person be convicted but we have to work within the bounds of evidence.”