April 17th, 2024

Charges withdrawn against man accused in assault and shooting

By Delon Shurtz - Lethbridge Herald on March 2, 2024.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDdshurtz@lethbridgeherald.com

A 43-year-old Lethbridge man charged along with a woman in relation to an assault and shooting of another man last year, has resolved his matter and will no longer stand trial.

Robert Duane Vincent, who had originally pleaded not guilty last August to numerous criminal charges, and was scheduled to stand trial in June, pleaded guilty Friday in Lethbridge court of justice to a single count of possession of a firearm contrary to a weapons prohibition. He was sentenced to six months in jail, but given full credit for time he has already spent in custody, which completes his sentence.

Crown Prosecutor Clayton Giles told court Vincent had, on Aug. 9, 2019, been prohibited from possessing firearms for five years. Less than a year later, on April 27, 2020, he was prohibited a second time, but for 10 years.

Then on March 20 of last year he was the subject of a police investigation, during which police pulled over a vehicle and subsequently found a .223-calibre rifle in the trunk. Vincent told police he owned the gun and had it simply because “he likes guns.”

Giles pointed out Vincent has a criminal record, which includes the April 2020 conviction for possession of a firearm contrary to a prohibition order, along with uttering threats, mischief and robbery, for which he was sentenced to 33 months in custody.

After he was caught with the rifle in the vehicle, and charged with numerous additional offences stemming from an unrelated incident, he was held in custody for some time before he was released on strict bail conditions, including house arrest.

In addition to his jail sentence, he was again prohibited from possessing weapons, this time for life, and even though he pleaded guilty to only one charge, he faced 15 violence and weapon-related charges stemming from an incident around the same time in which a man had been assaulted and shot in his home. The additional charges were withdrawn after he pleaded guilty Friday.

Kristina Hatcher was also charged with numerous offences in relation to the shooting. However, she pleaded guilty Feb. 12 to charges of aggravated assault and using a firearm while committing an offence, and was sentenced to more than three years in prison.

During her sentencing hearing, court was told Hatcher, 39, was living on the street and had been invited by a friend to live in the basement of his home. That arrangement didn’t last long after Hatcher discovered the man had an ulterior motive for inviting her to live with him and hoped to develop a relationship.

Hatcher, with the help of another man, began removing some of her belongings from the house, which upset the homeowner. Hatcher and the man subsequently left the residence, but returned the next day to finish moving while the owner was not home.

They parked a block away and “surreptitiously” entered the house, hoping to avoid a confrontation, but while they were gathering Hatcher’s belongings, the homeowner returned, and was visibly upset.

Hatcher, who had brought a gun with her, “forcefully” approached the man, told him she was leaving and accused him of taking advantage of her. There was a scuffle, and she shot him.

The Crown pointed out, however, the shooting may not have been intentional, but the gun went off while Hatcher was “in the course of an assault.”

Hatcher and the other man fled, but left the victim lying on the floor with a .22-calibre bullet lodged in his spine. Doctors did not remove the bullet, for fear it would jeopardize the patient’s health more than if it was left alone.

Police subsequently found Hatcher and a “male companion” later in a motor vehicle. There was also a rifle in the vehicle, but it was not the gun used to shoot the victim. The victim, Giles pointed out, died last December, but not from the bullet wound.

Share this story:

Notify of
1 Comment
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

another farce of an outcome. why not just save us all the money and stop prosecuting, as there really is no prosecution nor justice. chronic offender, guns, no respect for conditions or the law.
stiff sentences for violent offenders may not rehabilitate, but they will help keep society safer for as long as offender is incarcerated.

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x