A Vernon man has been found not guilty of attempted murder after a drug related shoot-out with another man in Polson Park almost three years ago.
31 year old Jacob Lowes was accused of using a Colt 45 handgun to fire three times at Robin Rochmont in the park after an attempted robbery by Rochmont and two other men at one of the units Lowes was living in at the Green Valley Motel on 25th Avenue on the morning of August 12, 2014.
BC Supreme Court judge Peter Rogers said while there was evidence that showed Lowes chased Rochmont and Adrian Dziedzic into the park with a gun, there wasn’t enough proof that he intended to kill Rochment, rather than just injure or scare him.
Lowes was found guilty of the lesser charge of assault with the intent to cause bodily harm, and four other firearms related charges.
A date for sentencing will be set April 24.
Three people driving by the area at the time testified during the trial they saw a man in shorts and a t-shirt cross the street to go into the park, with some hearing several pops of gunfire.
The judge said Lowes was a street level drug trafficker.
The gun he used was found in the creek directly behind the motel in about 50 cm’s of water by police in September 2014.
The discovery was made after a conversation between Lowes and a cell mate was overheard by another inmate indicating some people had tried to break into his home to steal drugs, and that he had defended himself and chased them away.
Lowes also told another resident of the motel a similar story, adding “Robin and another man ran like bitches” when he chased them into the park.
“I find he said these things and wasn’t telling stores or exaggerating, It was true,” said Justice Rogers.
The judge rejected the defence argument that it was another man that chased the two into the park and shot at them, given the testimony of witnesses and a surveillance photo of Lowes from shortly after outside the nearby Polson Park Motel, showing him in shorts and a distinct t shirt.