The trial for a 2015 shooting, where a man allegedly shot his roommate in this Lindsey Road home, started today in Penticton court. Western News file photo

Roommate shooting trial starts with lead-up to incident

Matthew Cameron’s defence lawyer is expected to argue that the shooting was self-defence

The trial for a man accused of maiming his roommate with a shotgun kicked off on Tuesday, including details of the night that led up to the incident.

Matthew Cameron is charged with aggravated assault and using a firearm to commit an indictable offence, with Crown lawyers alleging Cameron shot his roommate, Kyle Miller, in the leg with a 12-gauge shotgun on July 13, 2015.

In his remarks, Crown prosecutor John Swanson told the jury about the day that led up to the alleged shooting, indicating that Cameron and Miller had made plans to go boating on the Okanagan Lake with a friend, Oliver Bell, and some others.

Following the day on the lake, the three followed some fellow boaters to Peachland.

“As they leave Peachland, they decided that they wanted to purchase some cocaine, so they go to a couple of different residences in or near Summerland in an effort to purchase cocaine,” Swanson said.

“They are unsuccessful in purchasing cocaine.”

While Miller was in the house attempting to buy the cocaine, Cameron was allegedly honking on the truck’s horn, which Miller found to be inappropriate, inciting an argument.

“It gets worse and worse as the three men drive back towards Penticton,” Swanson said.

The three separated, with Cameron getting a ride from his mother, and meeting again at the home they shared near Naramata, where the argument continued.

Cameron allegedly entered his bedroom, grabbing a 12-gauge shotgun and loading it as he walks down the hallway toward the entrance of the house.

As Miller and the Camerons are on their way out of the house, Cameron allegedly turned toward Miller, the shotgun is lowered and goes off, with the shell entering Miller’s right thigh on the right side and exiting out the back.

Cameron and his mom reportedly left the scene in her vehicle while Miller crawled back to the living room where Bell was to call for help.

The Camerons allegedly entered the mom’s home, washing their clothes while Cameron took a shower and ultimately called 911 to report that he was a part of the incident and alert emergency crews to where he was located.

Defence lawyer Don Skogstad’s own opening remarks were brief, noting he was unable to say as much as he would have liked to about the case.

Cpl. Mark McWhinnie was called to the stand to describe his experience as the first to respond to the scene.

The RCMP officer, now stationed in Fort St. James, told the court that upon dispatch alerting members to the incident, it was unclear whether the suspect was still at the residence or not.

Upon arriving, McWhinnie, followed by another officer, approached the residence with caution before finding Bell in the doorway beckoning the officers in.

McWhinnie described seeing blood on the doorway and in the hallway of the residence, before seeing Miller lying in the floor of the living room.

Miller’s leg reportedly had a significant wound on the thigh, which McWhinnie searched for an arterial wound.

Finding no arterial wound, which he said could have caused Miller to bleed out within minutes, McWhinnie said his next objective was to ensure that the suspect was no longer in the area to clear paramedics and firefighters to arrive to the scene.

McWhinnie told the court he had no reason to believe the suspect was still in the area, with Bell saying he believed Cameron had left with his mom.

In an initial search of the house, McWhinnie said he found a .22 calibre rifle in a case, which he didn’t believe was loaded.

Swanson told the court that the 12-gauge shotgun believed to have been used in the shooting has never been found.

The trial is expected to run until next Tuesday, with evidence submission expected to be completed by the end of this week. Skogstad is expected to argue that the shooting was done in self-defence.