Man loses appeal of murder conviction in Maple Ridge shooting

Murdered his co-worker at a Pitt Meadows business

IHIT investigates a shooting in a Maple Ridge church parking lot in 2015. (THE NEWS/files)

IHIT investigates a shooting in a Maple Ridge church parking lot in 2015. (THE NEWS/files)

A man convicted of the 2015 murder of his co-worker at a Pitt Meadows store has lost an appeal.

Randy William Scott was found guilty of second degree murder after shooting his victim, Peter Bender, several times at close range with a shotgun. He was sentenced to life in prison in 2019.

According to the reasons for his appeal being dismissed, the only issue at the trial was whether Scott possessed the specific intent for murder.

Scott had argued at trial that the combination of impairment and mental disorder deprived him of the capacity to form the intent to kill Bender. The trial judge rejected this defence, based on overwhelming evidence of the appellant’s goal-oriented conduct before, during, and after the shooting.

Scott was 29 when he shot Bender, 33, in a church parking lot near Lougheed Highway and 216th Street. Both of the men had worked at a Pitt Meadows store, and Scott had dated a woman Bender was seeing – a fellow employee.

Madam Justice J. Ker described the circumstances of the shooting, saying Scott was “distraught, jealous and angry” over the loss of his relationship with the woman. Scott had dated the woman two or three times between March and October 2015. The woman had told him she didn’t want to be romantically involved. Bender had only been dating the woman for a few weeks when he was shot on Dec. 19.

According to reasons for judgment, early on the morning of Dec. 19, Scott removed a rifle and shotgun from a gun safe in his home, removed the trigger locks, and put the weapons in his car. Scott drove to a location and test fired the rifle, then drove to the woman’s residence.

He shot Bender four times in the head at close range.

Scott challenged his conviction on the basis the trial judge erred by allowing the Crown to call an expert in reply, by not qualifying one of the accused’s experts on certain topics, and for misapprehending the evidence on the accused’s level of intoxication.

However, the Court of Appeal for B.C. ruled the trial judge’s decisions to permit the Crown to call an expert in reply, and to not qualify the accused’s expert on certain topics, were discretionary and contextually informed.

“The judge was in the best position to assess the relevant issues in light of how the trial unfolded, the evidence, and the parties’ theories of the case,” said the reasons for judgement. “The judge did not misapprehend the evidence and comprehensively addressed each of the issues raised on appeal.”

Scott argued on appeal that the judge erred by:

• Allowing the Crown to call in an expert in forensic psychiatry to reply.

• Allowing the expert to exceed the scope of permissible reply evidence.

• Not qualifying Dr. Gabor Mate as an expert witness.

• Understating Scott’s level of intoxication.

“The reasons for judgment on the trial proper extend to 136 pages. The judge’s review of the evidence and issues at trial is remarkably thorough and clear. She comprehensively addressed each of the issues raised on appeal,” noted the reasons for judgement on appeal.

Scott never denied responsibility, and turned himself in to authorities two months after the shooting.

He was sentenced to life in prison, with no parole eligibility for 14 years.

The appeal was held by video conference in May.

READ ALSO: Maple Ridge man sentenced to life for 2015 shooting death in church parking lot

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