March 1, 2024

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Man who shot up four homes with rifle in Taradale faces prison time

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The Calgary man who shot up several homes in the city’s northeast is facing a minimum four years in prison, the judge who convicted him noted Wednesday.

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Provincial court Judge Terry Semenuk told lawyers in the case of Terrell Chol that an Alberta Court of Appeal decision from last year overturned a lower court ruling finding the mandatory punishment unconstitutional.

Semenuk last month found Chol guilty of multiple charges in connection with a June 5, 2020, shooting spree in Taradale that saw four homes pelted with bullets, including discharging a firearm into a residence.

Semenuk wanted to ensure Crown prosecutor Adam May and defence counsel Jillian Williams that the province’s top court overturned a ruling that found the minimum jail term amounted to cruel and unusual punishment in violation of the Charter.

Williams said it wasn’t her intent to argue for a sentence below the mandatory four-year punishment.

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“I don’t have any instructions to deviate from the mandatory minimum,” she said, while appearing in court by telephone.

Chol, who remains in custody, was excused from attending court, which was for the purpose of setting a date for his sentencing hearing.

While the Alberta Court of Appeal overturned the 3 1/2-year sentence handed Jesse Dallas Hills for discharging a firearm into a home, substituting the minimum punishment of four years, the Supreme Court has agreed to hear the case.

In the Hills decision. appeal Justice Thomas Wakeling was critical of other cases in which Canadian courts had struck down mandatory minimums for other crimes based on hypothetical scenarios and not the offences for which they were considering.

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“I am … extremely troubled by the fact that Canadian courts have been busy striking down Criminal Code provisions that impose mandatory-minimum sentences because they can imagine a hypothetical offender for whom the mandatory-minimum prison sentence, in the court’s opinion, is much more severe than the imaginary offender deserves,” Wakeling wrote.

In convicting Chol, Semenuk found he was the gunman captured on doorbell camera footage firing at least 20 rounds from a semi-automatic rifle into homes in the northeast Calgary neighbourhood.

Video shown at Chol’s trial showed a silver sedan stop in front of a Tarington Way N.E. residence before the driver got out and fired off multiple rounds.

Investigators recovered 20 spent shell cases on the block. Many bullets fired from the street struck homes on neighbouring Tarington Landing.

His sentencing hearing is set for Nov. 10.

[email protected]

On Twitter: @KMartinCourts

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