A Central Alberta man on trial for attempted murder has been found not guilty.
Andrew Snow, 30, was charged with one count of attempted murder after an incident at his mobile home in September 2015, west of Sylvan Lake. His trial took place in Red Deer’s provincial court this week.
The crown argued that Snow shot his friend Richard Koehl multiple times after Koehl dropped him off at his residence following a trip to Kelowna on Sept. 17th, 2015.
Snow testified that after returning to his residence he and Koehl entered Snow’s mobile home and Snow walked to his bedroom where he discovered some of the drawers in the dresser were opened. At the same time, he testified that Koehl yelled from the kitchen that someone had opened the cabinets.
“I then saw someone come out of the bathroom with a black object in his hand and then I ran,” Snow said, adding he told Koehl to get out and he heard the first gun shot when he was nearly out of the mobile home. “I jumped in the car and saw Rick running behind me,” he continued, adding as he was leaving the residence, he saw two men standing on his deck.
Snow added instead of getting inside the vehicle, Koehl ran towards a neighbour’s house and he saw him collapse at a tree line. Snow then headed to Sylvan Lake to his girlfriend’s house.
“It was like a movie, it happened so quick,” Snow said.
Koehl, 34, was the first crown witness to testify in the trial. He told the court on Sept. 15th, 2015 the pair left for Kelowna as Koehl said he had a family matter there to attend to. He testified that before the trip, they picked up marijuana and some cocaine adding that Snow did cocaine periodically throughout the trip. Snow later testified the purpose of the trip was to purchase cocaine and marijuana.
On Sept. 17th, 2015, between 7:30-8 a.m., Koehl said he was dropping Snow off at his residence after returning home.
“We checked out the house to make sure it was safe and that no one was in there waiting for him (Snow),” said Koehl, adding that Snow seemed, “A little scattered” and assumed he was not sober at the time.
Koehl added that after checking the house, he went to see what Snow was doing.
“He was standing there and shot at me. I saw sparks from the gun and a big hole in me,” he said, adding he was shot four times – once in the abdomen, once in the left forearm, once in the shoulder and once in the back. “I ran and was yelling, ‘No Andrew, no!’
“I never expected to see him there.”
Koehl said he ran to a nearby residence to seek help and heard Snow take off in a vehicle down the driveway.
On Friday, during closing arguments, defense lawyer Maurice Collard said Koehl lied on the stand about a number of circumstances including the reasoning for the trip to Kelowna, his criminal record and other facts.
“Mr. Koehl has lied to this court repeatedly,” he said, adding Koehl could not be considered a credible witness.
Another witness during the trial was Conner Swain who testified that Snow came to his house in Sylvan Lake and seemed upset after the incident.
“He was out of breath. He was sweaty. He sat on the couch trying to collect himself. It took him a long time to catch his breath,” Swain testified, adding he offered Snow a shower and some clean clothes to put on.
Swain said Snow told him something bad happened but that he didn’t elaborate and Swain didn’t ask questions because, “The less I know the better, so I don’t end up in places like this (court).”
He added the pair went outside for a cigarette. Swain said he lived next door to Snow’s girlfriend and saw her coming home. Swain invited her into his house and said he let her and Snow talk privately, although he overheard their conversation.
“He said, ‘So and so didn’t make it.’ And she said, ‘What?’,” said Swain, adding they both seemed ‘somber’ during their talk. “Their attitude after that was serious. Once she understood what he meant her tone changed and they left.”
During cross-examination Collard questioned Swain about what Snow had said to him when he arrived at his house that day.
“Did Mr. Snow say to you, ‘I was set up, buddy was shot.’ And you responded, ‘Should I call 911?’”
Swain said he did not recall that being said.
“Would you agree that your memory of the day’s events are a bit unclear?” Collard asked.
Swain responded, “Yes.”
In his decision, Judge Gordon Yake said it was, “dangerous” to convict Snow on the evidence of an “unsavoury” witness like Koehl and that Swain’s testimony was questioned because in his statement to police he said it was summertime when the incident happened and did not have a grasp on the date of the incident.