Calling his actions "cowardly and callous," a judge has sentenced a Winnipeg man to 10 years in prison for the unprovoked shooting of a stranger outside a Thompson house party.
David Baker, 21, was convicted of attempted murder following a jury trial earlier this year.
Baker, who has been in custody since the October 2017 shooting, received credit for time served, reducing his remaining sentence to just over six years.
A jury heard evidence that Baker had been at a party at his aunt’s home when he learned the 23-year-old victim was on his way to pick up his girlfriend. Baker, who witnesses testified had been flirting with the victim’s girlfriend, said the victim "better come strapped (armed)," before reaching into a bag and pulling out a .22-calibre handgun and a bullet-proof vest.
The victim arrived and pulled his intoxicated girlfriend outside. Baker, already outside, told the man twice to leave her alone before shooting him in the chest from a distance of about 2 1/2 metres.
Baker fled the scene and hours later sent a text to a friend saying: "LMAO, I had nowhere to go. I just blasted some s----y guy at my aunty’s."
First responders found the victim stumbling on the street with a bloody rag clutched to his chest. He was taken to Thompson hospital and then transferred to Health Sciences Centre in Winnipeg with a collapsed lung but no other life-threatening injuries.
Baker "simply did not want (the victim) to take his girlfriend from the party," and shot him to stop it, Queen’s Bench Justice Gerald Chartier said Friday. The shooting "was a cowardly and callous act directed at an unsuspecting person who was doing the responsible thing in picking up his girlfriend."
Jurors heard evidence Baker had been taking the opioid Percocet and other drugs prior to the shooting, but must have found this was not enough to diminish his intent to commit murder, Chartier said.
Someone once said a journalist is just a reporter in a good suit. Dean Pritchard doesn’t own a good suit. But he knows a good lawsuit.
Your support has enabled us to provide free access to stories about COVID-19 because we believe everyone deserves trusted and critical information during the pandemic.
Our readership has contributed additional funding to give Free Press online subscriptions to those that can’t afford one in these extraordinary times — giving new readers the opportunity to see beyond the headlines and connect with other stories about their community.
To those who have made donations, thank you.
To those able to give and share our journalism with others, please Pay it Forward.
The Free Press has shared COVID-19 stories free of charge because we believe everyone deserves access to trusted and critical information during the pandemic.
While we stand by this decision, it has undoubtedly affected our bottom line.
After nearly 150 years of reporting on our city, we don’t want to stop any time soon. With your support, we’ll be able to forge ahead with our journalistic mission.
If you believe in an independent, transparent, and democratic press, please consider subscribing today.
We understand that some readers cannot afford a subscription during these difficult times and invite them to apply for a free digital subscription through our Pay it Forward program.