Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION

Man gets two-year sentence for shooting gang members at birthday party

Crown cites several key witnesses who refuse to testify, claim they saw nothing, or have gone missing

  • Print

A man has pleaded guilty to opening fire on gang members who crashed his 20th birthday party – hitting one victim in the arm and causing "horrific" injuries.

Alexander Sanderson pleaded guilty on Wednesday in The Pas to a charge of criminal negligence causing bodily harm for the July 2013 incident in his home community of Grand Rapids. In exchange, the Crown dropped a more serious charge of attempted murder.

Sanderson was then given a sentence of two years jail as part of a plea-bargain. The Crown cited serious concerns with its case, including several key witnesses who either refuse to testify, claim they saw nothing or have gone missing.

The incident began when Sanderson and numerous friends were celebrating his birthday at a residence on the reserve. The party mood turned sour when several people – connected to the Indian Posse street gang – began confronting guests outside the home. They were also flashing gang signs and may have been carrying weapons, court was told.

"There was lots of monkey business going on," said Crown attorney Todd Rambow.

Sanderson grabbed a shotgun, came out his front door and fired at least one blast while the firearm was at his side. He did not specifically take aim at any victim, court was told.

The victim who was hit suffered gruesome injuries to his arm which has left it practically "useless," court was told.

Defence lawyer Wendy Martin-White said her client suffers from cognitive issues and felt like his safety was being threatened.

Provincial court Judge Malcolm McDonald told Sanderson to "consider yourself very lucky" the Crown was forced to cut a deal and agree to a much lighter sentence than this type of crime would typically attract. The judge also expressed concern about the prevalence of gangs in communities like Grand Rapids and the reluctance of people to cooperate with police and justice officials.

"It’s nothing but a recipe for disaster," said McDonald.

Sanderson has spent more than 13 months in custody without bail, which was given time-and-a-half credit. That leaves him with only about four months left of his sentence to serve.

www.mikeoncrime.com

History

Updated on Wednesday, September 3, 2014 at 5:32 PM CDT: Corrects typo; tweaks headline.

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Humans of the Holidays

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • Marc Gallant / Winnipeg Free Press.  Local/Standup- Morning Fog. Horse prances in field by McPhillips Road, north of Winnipeg. 060605.
  • Water lilys are reflected in the pond at the Leo Mol Sculpture Garden Tuesday afternoon. Standup photo. Sept 11,  2012 (Ruth Bonneville/Winnipeg Free Press)

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

What's your take on the Jets so far this season?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google