A man who robbed a gas station and shot the clerk, leaving him severely injured, has been sentenced to nine years in prison.
Jeffrey Lyle Geary, 31, pleaded guilty to robbery, possession of a prohibited firearm, manufacturing a prohibited firearm and aggravated assault – a charge that was downgraded from attempted murder.
The charges stem from Sept. 11th, 2013 when according to the Agreed Statement of Facts, Geary entered the gas station at 11:22 p.m. He briefly spoke to the clerk, identified as Jaysen Arancon Reyes, 27, before getting a slurpee and walking around the store. When he approached the counter, he held the gun about two feet away from Reyes’ face and without hesitation shot.
Reyes fell back and blood started to pool. He got up and put money on the counter. Geary then walked over to the ATM before leaving the store without any cash.
He then disposed of his clothing at a friend’s house. Geary turned himself into police on Sept. 13th, 2013.
RCMP attended the scene within minutes of the shooting and Reyes was taken to the Red Deer Regional Hospital before being taken to Foothills Hospital in Calgary for further treatment.
Reyes, who moved to Canada from the Philippines in the spring of 2013, has undergone a number of surgeries, during one of which he experienced a cardiac arrest.
The multiple surgeries have been for the removal of shotgun pellets, eye repair, nerve repair and the amputation of some fingers. He still remains in a rehabilitation facility.
During sentencing submissions, a victim impact statement from Reyes was read. He detailed his injuries and his loss of dreams. He also explained his fear of being the object of criminal activity in the future.
During sentencing, Judge Darrell Riemer said there were many aggravating factors including the life threatening injuries that the victim has suffered that has left him permanently disabled.
“There was also the preparation and modification of an allegedly stolen firearm prior to,” he said. “As well, the use of a prohibited firearm which was used in the commission of an offence.”
He added the mitigating factors include Geary turning himself into police and pleading guilty.
“There was admission from the offender of the offences and acknowledgement of harm done to the victim,” said Riemer. “He has accepted responsibility of the criminal offences and makes no excuses for his actions.”
In sentencing submissions on Sept. 29th, Patricia McNaughton, defense lawyer, said Geary was struggling with substance abuse at the time of the offense. He had a breakdown of a nine year relationship in 2012 with a woman that he had two children with and his life spiraled out of control from there.
“Family and friends have described this criminal behaviour as being out of character for the man they knew,” said Riemer.
During sentencing submissions, Geary stated that he was deeply sorry for the pain and suffering he has caused.
“I accept full responsibility for my actions” he said.
Riemer sentenced Geary to nine years in prison. He was awarded time served as he has been in custody since turning himself into the police on Sept. 13th, 2013, which means Geary will serve seven years and four months.
Geary was also given a lifetime firearms ban and will have to submit his DNA.