DUNCAN A 24-year-old Nanaimo man was sentenced Monday to 18 months in prison, followed by two years probation, in the shooting death of his father on the Canada Day weekend of 2010.
Brendon Menard showed no emotions as Justice Nathan Smith read his decision in B.C. Supreme Court in Duncan, but his mother, who was seated behind him along with other family members, broke down in tears.
Menard pleaded guilty on Sept. 11 to manslaughter in the death of 52-year-old Tony Menard, a successful Nanaimo businessman. Members of the family were target-shooting in the woods near Bamfield when the father was shot four times by his son, who was using a .22-calibre rifle equipped with a scope.
Bullets hit Tony Menard in the heart, lung, kidney and stomach. He died on the scene.
Witnesses testified Brendons zombie-like behaviour, along with his mumbling of gibberish that day, was consistent with having a minor seizure, a medical ailment for which he was taking medication. The seizures started five years ago, after Brendon suffered a head injury in a car crash.
The Crown asked Smith to consider sending Brendon to prison for three to five years. The defence asked for a suspended sentence and probation.
Smith said the case was unusual as well as tragic. While the family was unanimous in not wanting a jail sentence, Smith said it was required for denunciation and deterrence.
Brendon was guilty of extreme recklessness by handling firearms when he knew a seizure was possible, Smith said. Drinking alcohol and smoking marijuana, as he did that weekend, added to the recklessness, he said.
A prison sentence will help deter Brendon Menard from repeating this behaviour, Smith said.
Societal interest demands a prison sentence, he said.
Probation conditions include taking required medication, abstaining from illicit drugs and alcohol, and obeying a 10 p.m. to 7 a.m. curfew. He also faces a lifetime ban on handling firearms, is required to give a DNA sample to a national data bank and must carry out 240 hours of community service.
© Copyright 2013