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Judge doesn’t buy story of man who shot himself

A man who first told police he shot himself, then said he was the victim of a home invasion was found guilty of careless use of a firearm.

The judge didn’t buy the story of a man who first told police he shot himself, then said he was the victim of a home invasion in Princeton.

Jesse Lawrence Williams, 32, was found guilty of breaching his firearms prohibition, careless use of a firearm and possessing a loaded, prohibited firearm without authorization on Oct. 29 in Penticton Provincial Court

On April 26, 2015 police responded to a call to a residential neighbourhood in Princeton and found Williams suffering from a gunshot wound to his upper thigh when they arrived. Police located a sawed-off rifle a few feet away from where Williams was found, and he told police that he found the firearm in his backyard, threw it over his shoulder and the strap caught the trigger discharging it into his leg.

Williams later testified at trial that he lied to police about how the shooting went down. He alleged that a masked intruder entered his residence, shot him after a struggle and left the gun behind telling Williams “don’t rat.”

However, while at the hospital being treated for his gunshot wound, Williams recounted to police that he had purchased the firearm from a Princeton man.

Williams claimed he lied to police to protect himself and his family. Williams mother testified at trial that she awoke to the screams of her son and found him lying on the floor holding his leg. She said she heard a noise like a door slamming, but when she went to investigate Williams grabbed his mother’s leg to prevent her from going outside, which he said was to protect her. Williams testified that he believed he was targeted due to his involvement in the drug trade.

“He said that if you report an incident even if you don’t know who committed it is still characterized as being a rat on the street,” said Judge Greg Koturbash.

“I did not find Mr. Williams credible,” Koturbash said.

Koturbash noted that when he grabbed his mother’s leg to stop her from going outside he told her and her boyfriend he shot himself to keep them from getting scared.

“In my opinion this explanation makes no sense. Even if there was a reason to lie to police, there was absolutely no reason to lie to his mother,” Koturbash said.

A pre-sentence report was ordered for Williams, who will be back in court on Jan. 6, 2016 to confirm completion of the report.