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This article was published 28/2/2020 (208 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
An Alberta truck driver has been found guilty of shooting a 16-year-old girl in the face at a Manitoba highway truck stop.
Randall Neil McCargar, 62, appeared shocked, then shook his head and smirked upon learning the verdict Thursday in a Winnipeg courtroom.
"I have to disagree with you, your honour," McCargar told Queen’s Bench Justice Scott Abel, who convicted McCargar of two counts of discharging a firearm with intent to wound or endanger life, and one count of possessing a firearm without a licence.
McCargar, who represented himself at trial last fall, is set to be sentenced in March.
Asked if he intended to secure a lawyer for sentencing, McCargar told Abel: "Nope, not at all… I’m sick of lawyers."
In a police statement provided to court at trial, McCargar alleged he had been assaulted by a man and two women as he sat in his truck outside a Petro-Canada station in Brandon on July 12, 2018. The attackers demanded money and threatened to kill him, before fleeing in a red SUV, he said.
While being interviewed by police at the scene, McCargar went from victim to suspect, after the officer learned a 16-year-old girl was being treated in Brandon hospital for shotgun wounds to the face, allegedly inflicted at the same location.
On Thursday, Abel accepted McCargar was assaulted and robbed, but rejected his claims the truck driver did not shoot at the fleeing vehicle.
Police seized a shotgun from McCargar’s truck and found three spent shell casings at the scene. McCargar’s DNA was found on both the shotgun and shells.
"The accused may have been justified in discharging the shotgun, if a firearm had been used in the cab of the semi, while being assaulted by several people," Abel wrote in a 58-page decision.
"However, once the assailants left the cab of the semi, the assault ended.
"Once the assailants left the cab of the semi and were driving away, the accused’s use of force, by way of firing the shotgun at the truck, was more than what was necessary to prevent the repetition of the assault."
The now-18-year-old female victim is not alleged to have been a participant any crime, but was waiting in a pickup truck when the 40-year-old male driver, Jared Sikala, and three female passengers allegedly returned to the vehicle and quickly drove away.
"I remember hearing a big bang, then I couldn’t hear anything for a long time," the woman testified at trial in Brandon. "All I could hear was ringing, I didn’t know I was shot until I could start hearing… I felt my face and saw my shirt was all bloody. I told myself I was going to die alone."
The woman said she had been riding with the group to get alcohol from a local vendor, but ended up at the gas station instead.
The woman testified Sikala and the other women were in the cab of McCargar’s truck for a few minutes before two of the women exited looking scared. The third woman fell out of the semi-truck afterward while trying to carry something, court was told.
The three women returned to the pickup and Sikala was seen in the door of the semi-truck, wrestling an older man, court was told.
Sikala fell out of the semi and got into the pickup, telling them to "just drive," the woman testified.
— with files from Brandon Sun
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