Drive-by shooting accused receives six years jail

Dustin Plourde pleaded guilty on April 15 and was sentenced for firing a shotgun at a home in Kimberley

The man charged over a drive-by shooting in Kimberley on April 4 has been sentenced to six years prison.

Dustin Fagen Plourde, 28, pleaded guilty in Cranbrook Provincial Court on Monday, April 15 to unlawfully discharging a firearm, possession of a firearm contrary to an order, and possession of a prohibited or restricted firearm with ammunition.

Crown counsel Lynal Doerksen told Judge Grant Sheard that around 11 p.m. on April 4, RCMP were called to a home on Archibald Street in Kimberley after the residents heard a shot fired at the front door.

There were two women and a nine-month-old baby inside the home but they were unharmed.

Police saw bullet holes through the window in the front door. Witnesses reported seeing the shots fired from a dark blue Neon, but RCMP could not locate the vehicle.

Two hours later, at 1 a.m. on April 5, the residents of the home called to say the shooter had returned, this time firing at the kitchen window.

The shots had penetrated one pane of the double-paned window, but not the second.

The residents of the home told the police they were unclear why their home was targeted.

Soon after the second shot was fired, police located a vehicle matching the description outside a home on Wallinger Avenue, and arrested two people who were leaving the vehicle. They found a sawn-off shotgun inside the vehicle.

Five charges were laid against Plourde, while Randy Boehner, 26, was charged with breach of probation. He pleaded guilty on Monday, April 8 and was sentenced to 70 days in jail.

The pair told police that Plourde shot at the residence because he mistakenly believed it was home to members of a drug gang.

Plourde’s defense counsel Rick Strahl told the court that Plourde had moved to Kimberley from Strathmore, Alberta, three months ago.

Since then, Plourde felt he had been threatened by people in Kimberley involved in the drug trade who felt he was a threat to their business.

After drinking a large amount of vodka on April 4, Plourde decided to take action “in a crazy, no-thought manner”, Strahl described.

Both Crown and defense agreed that a six-year sentence was appropriate.

Plourde addressed Judge Sheard before the judge considered sentencing.

“I know I made a mistake. I’m not trying to minimize the seriousness of what I did. I’m thankful nobody was hurt, in particular the kids. Whatever reason I had doesn’t make it right and I realize I have to pay for what I did. I carry a lot of weight at this point. I’ve had time to sit and think about what I did,” said Plourde.

Plourde has a criminal record in Alberta. He was last convicted of robbery and aggravated assault in 2007.

Judge Sheard considered for about half an hour before sentencing Plourde to a global sentence of six years. He was given six years for unlawfully discharging, one year for possession of a firearm contrary to order, and three years for possession of a prohibited or restricted firearm, with the sentences to be served at the same time.

The judge also placed a lifetime ban on Plourde of possessing a firearm, crossbow or ammunition, and ordered Plourde to provide a DNA sample.

Judge Sheard also recommended Plourde serve his sentence at a facility other than Kent Institution, as Plourde believed he would be threatened there.

Because Plourde pleaded guilty, the Crown ordered a stay of proceedings on a second charge of unlawfully discharging a firearm, and a charge of breach of probation.

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