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Shooter receives life sentence for double homicide

Gun used in shooting traced to NYPD

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A police officer examines the scene of the shooting.

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A police officer examines the scene of the shooting. Photo Store

A handgun last registered to the New York Police Department was used to fatally shoot two Winnipeg men in the inner-city, court heard Monday.

But how the Glock nine-millimetre pistol made its way across the Canadian border and into the hands of Randy Murray Williams, 29, who used it to shoot Darren Joey Swampy, 19, and Lee Brady Spence, 22, on Feb. 5, 2011 -- nobody knows, prosecutors say.

Williams pleaded guilty to two counts of second-degree murder Monday, on the day his Court of Queen's Bench trial was set to begin.

Justice Donald Bryk was told that prior to the shootings, Williams was in a consensual fight with a man outside a house party on Ross Avenue.

He and a few other partygoers were ejected, prompting Williams to retrieve the gun from an "unknown location."

He encountered the two innocent victims in a group of four near Ellen Street and Elgin Avenue.

"Where's my guy?" Williams asked, in reference to the person he had fought with at the party.

While standing in the middle of the group, Williams pulled the pistol and began shooting "indiscriminately," Crown attorney Brian Bell said.

Swampy was shot in the chest and collapsed. Spence was also struck, and then shot seven more times by Williams while he was on the ground.

"This was a vicious, unprovoked execution of a dying man," Bell said. In all, 15 shots were fired.

Williams was arrested hours later and has remained in custody since.

The gun was recovered on May 15, 2011, Bell said, and traced back to the NYPD. The weapon was never registered in Canada.

Bell asked Bryk to increase the minimum period of parole ineligibility for Williams by an undetermined amount. For second-degree murder, the minimum period is 10 years.

"For the rest of my life, I have been condemned to cry for my boy," Spence's father, Stephen Oldham, told Bryk, describing his son as an honest and truthful person who dreamed of having his own family.

"The last words I heard from my son (were), 'Have a good trip, Dad,' " said Oldham. "I came home, son. Where are you?" Oldham said, his voice breaking.

Defence lawyer Greg Brodsky said Williams was badly beaten at the party and nobody helped him.

Brodsky suggested Williams' actions were influenced by the earlier fight.

"He was in a frantic state of mind," Brodsky said. "It wasn't planned."

Prior to the shooting, Williams was attending school and caring for family members. He had a very limited criminal record, Bryk said.

"What causes that person to become an indiscriminate shooter that takes the lives of two people?" Bryk wondered.

He sentenced Williams to life in prison without a chance of parole for 12 years.

james.turner@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition November 19, 2013 A6

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