The wife and daughter of a man killed in a shooting at a Vancouver Island mill held each other and cried Wednesday as a jury found the man’s attacker guilty on four charges.
Kevin Addison, 50, was found guilty of two counts each of first-degree murder and attempted murder after using a sawed-off shotgun to kill two former co-workers and injure two others at the Western Forest Products mill in Nanaimo.
On the morning of April 30, 2014, court heard Addison fired a single shot at Michael Lunn as he arrived at work. Addison then went to the mill’s office where he shot Tony Sudar in the face and both Fred McEachern and Earl Kelly in the back. McEachern later died from his injuries.
Speaking outside B.C. Supreme Court, Lunn’s wife Marlene said she was happy that justice has been served and thanked the jury for its guilty verdicts.
“Today we have a celebration,” she said, holding a tissue in one hand and the hand of McEachern’s wife in the other. “It just shows that justice does work.
“All our families have been disrupted, to say the least. But you know, we’re strong and we’re going to move forward.”
The jury began deliberating Tuesday afternoon. More than two dozen of Lunn and McEachern’s family and friends filled the courtroom for the verdict, which Addison listened to without expression.
Andy Hagen, McEachern’s brother-in-law, described the loss as devastating.
“We’ve lost someone who was a key member of our family,” he said outside court. “We have to move on and it’s going to be a very difficult challenge.”
The trial heard McEachern managed to hit Addison over the head with a chair after being fatally shot in the back.
McEachern’s wife, Lorraine, described her husband as a hero. Dabbing her eyes with a tissue, she said her family can now find peace, but she still grieves the loss of her husband.
“I miss everything about him. I miss him being here and always being there for the family. We did everything together. I miss that.”
Over the three-week trial, Crown lawyer Nic Barber argued revenge motivated Addison to carry out the attack after he was laid off in 2008 and was not rehired two years later.
Barber told the jury the shooting was planned and deliberate, right down to where he hid the sawed-off shotgun down a hole he cut in the pocket of his jeans.
Justice Robin Baird said in his summation to the jury that Addison filed off the barrel of the 12-gauge shotgun so it wouldn’t scratch his leg as he walked to the mill.
But Addison’s defence lawyer, John Gustafson, asked the jury to find Addison guilty of manslaughter.
He told the trial that there was little doubt his client fired the gun that killed Michael Lunn and Fred McEachern, but the attack wasn’t premeditated or intentional and therefore didn’t qualify as first-degree murder.
Gustafson said Addison’s violent behaviour was out of character and the result of a severe depression he had been diagnosed with three months before the shooting.
In his summary to the jury, Baird said Addison testified that he never intended to kill anyone, only to intimidate and cause injury.
A date for sentencing will be set on Oct. 17.Report Typo/Error