The trial of Harry Richardson began Monday at the Nelson courthouse. File photo

The trial of Harry Richardson began Monday at the Nelson courthouse. File photo

Trial of man accused of shooting RCMP officer in West Kootenay in 2019 begins

Harry Richardson is facing five charges in a Nelson courtroom

The trial of a man accused of the attempted murder of an RCMP officer near Argenta in 2019 began Monday with an unexpected guilty plea to a lesser charge.

Harry Richardson, who is facing five charges included two of attempted murder with a firearm, is alleged to have broke into a home and fired on Kaslo RCMP officer Const. Shaun Kennedy and reserve Const. Darryl Hammond on Oct. 10, 2019.

Richardson, who is representing himself, pled not guilty to every charge except one, wilfully resisting or obstructing a peace officer. His admission of guilt appeared to surprise Judge Philip Seagram in the Nelson provincial courtroom.

In her opening statement, Crown counsel Rebecca Smyth told the court an Argenta resident was taking care of a friend’s home while they were away on holiday. She noticed someone had broken into the home, and decided not to enter.

Instead, the person called the home and was surprised when a man who was not the owner answered. She then called police.

When Kennedy and Hammond arrived at the home, Smyth said Richardson allegedly threw gasoline down from a second-story window and lit the ground in front of the building on fire.

Richardson then allegedly opened fire on the officers. Hammond, who had taken cover behind a tree, received three gun shot wounds to his arm and hand.

Smyth said another officer who later arrived was also nearly shot, which accounts for Richardson’s second attempted murder charge.

A long standoff ensued through the night, and ended after Richardson allegedly escaped from the home before being apprehended.

Kennedy, Smyth’s opening witness, told the court he had previously been searching for Richardson after a male had refused to leave Meadow Creek Store near Argenta on Sept. 25. Kennedy said Richardson was later identified through a police database that showed two outstanding warrants for his arrest.

Kennedy also said he had later spotted and chased Richardson through the Argenta Community Hall, but had lost track of him in the surrounding forest.

The trial is expected to take 15 days, in part because Smyth told Seagram she will be calling 25 witnesses to the stand.

Richardson said he does not expect to call any witnesses on his behalf.

@tyler_harper | tyler.harper@nelsonstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

CrimeRCMP

Just Posted

“Skeena,” by John Hudson and Paul Hanslow is one of five fonts in the running to become the default for Microsoft systems and Office programs. (Black Press Media File Photo)
Font named after Skeena River could become the next Microsoft default

One of the five new fonts will replace Calibri, which has been Microsoft’s default since 2007

Daily confirmed COVID-19 cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day rolling average in white, to May 12, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. preparing ‘Restart 2.0’ from COVID-19 as June approaches

Daily infections fall below 500 Friday, down to 387 in hospital

A vial of AstraZeneca vaccine is seen at a mass COVID-19 vaccination clinic in Calgary, Alta., Thursday, April 22, 2021. Dr. Ben Chan remembers hearing the preliminary reports back in March of blood clots appearing in a handful of European recipients of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Science on COVID, VITT constantly changing: A look at how doctors keep up

While VITT can represent challenges as a novel disorder, blood clots themselves are not new

Poached trees that were taken recently on Vancouver Island in the Mount Prevost area near Cowichan, B.C. are shown on Sunday, May 10, 2021. Big trees, small trees, dead trees, softwoods and hardwoods have all become valuable targets of tree poachers in British Columbia as timber prices hit record levels. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jen Osborne.
Tree poaching from public forests increasing in B.C. as lumber hits record prices

Prices for B.C. softwood lumber reached $1,600 for 1,000 board feet compared with about $300 a year ago

The warm weather means time for a camping trip, or at least an excursion into nature. How much do you know about camps and camping-related facts? (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
QUIZ: Are you ready to go camping?

How many camp and camping-related questions can you answer?

On Friday, May 14 at Meadow Gardens Golf Club in Pitt Meadows, Michael Caan joined a very elite club of golfers who have shot under 60 (Instagram)
Crowds at English Bay were blasted with a large beam of light from an RCMP Air-1 helicopter on Friday, May 14. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marc Grandmaison
Police enlist RCMP helicopter to disperse thousands crowded on Vancouver beach

On Friday night, police were witness to ‘several thousand people staying well into the evening’

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

People shop in Chinatown in Vancouver on Friday, February 5, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Vancouver community leaders call for action following 717% rise in anti-Asian hate crimes

‘The alarming rise of anti-Asian hate in Canada and south of the border shows Asians have not been fully accepted in North America,’ says Carol Lee

Sinikka Gay Elliott was reported missing on Salt Spring Island on Wednesday, May 12. (Courtesty Salt Spring RCMP)
Body of UBC professor found on Salt Spring Island, no foul play suspected

Sinikka Elliott taught sociology at the university

Most Read