Guilty plea no surprise to WCB hostage
A man who was taken hostage along with eight others at the Edmonton Workers Compensation Board in 2009 says he wasn't surprised when Patrick Clayton pleaded guilty this week.
"Honestly, I kind of expected it," Randy Morrow said Tuesday from Peace River. "I really didn't think there was much of a trial to be had."
Clayton, 40, pleaded guilty at the start of his trial Monday to three of 18 charges: pointing a firearm, possession of a weapon, and taking a hostage.
The Crown decided not to proceed with the remaining 15 charges. Clayton's sentencing hearing starts on Nov. 15th and he faces a maximum term of life imprisonment.
Morrow, a WCB claimant who was in the building for a medical appointment that morning, was taken hostage along with eight employees just after 8:30 a.m. on Oct. 21, 2009.
He was the last person to be released, almost 10 hours after Clayton forced his hostages at gunpoint into an eighth-floor boardroom.
"I really did believe I was done," Morrow said. "After the first shot, that moment when the barrel was pointed at me, I really did believe that was the end of me."
Morrow says he will give his victim impact statement in person at next week's hearing.
"It is the only opportunity that we do have to speak out," he said. "So I think I'd better take it."
Morrow believes Clayton deserves a stiff sentence but he isn't sure that life in prison would be appropriate.