Man who shot officers gets 14 years

A man who shot two Winnipeg police officers during a December 2006 drug raid was handed a 14-year prison sentence on Tuesday.

A man who shot two Winnipeg police officers during a December 2006 drug raid was handed a 14-year prison sentence Tuesday.

Daniell Ian Anderson, 23, was also given a lifetime weapons prohibition and ordered to provide a DNA sample to the national databank.

The Crown was seeking a 20-year sentence while the defence suggested seven years, as Anderson had no prior criminal history.

In handing down his verdict, Queen's Bench Justice Doug Abra cited denunciation and deterrents as primary reasons for the lengthy term. He said the public must know the courts will not tolerate the use of firearms against the police.

The courtroom gallery was filled with police officers — some in uniform, some off duty, and some retired members from the service.

Anderson said nothing in court and looked down as he was led away. His parents left the courthouse right after the hearing and refused any comment.

Eligible for parole in 5 years

Mike Sutherland, president of the Winnipeg Police Association, expressed some criticism of the fact that Anderson will be eligible for parole in just five years. That, he said, will force the two officers shot in the raid to appear before the parole board and relive the event.

"I would say that 14 years would be a deterrent, if it was 14 years, but it's not. So in terms of deterrence, now we have to wait five years or so for the parole board to make the decision as to whether or not it's going to be a deterrent," he said. "That's five years for these officers and their families to be sitting home waiting and wondering."

He said the courts should have the power to impose sentences without parole for extended periods. Police Chief Keith McCaskill agreed, saying he would like to see parole more difficult to get for serious offenders.

Anderson's lawyer, Roberta Campbell called the sentence "too high" but said a decision on an appeal hasn't been reached.

Anderson was convicted last year of attempting to kill Const. Donald Murray and discharging a firearm with intent to injure Const. Curtis Penner. He was originally charged with attempted murder on Penner as well, but found not guilty following a trial in the fall of 2008.

Penner was hit in the hand but Murray was shot in the abdomen and critically injured when Anderson fired a shotgun through a bathroom door where he had barricaded himself. Murray has just recently been able to return to light duties at the police service.

A third officer, who was hit in the leg by a ricocheting bullet, returned to duty shortly after the shooting.

Exchange of gunfire

The officers and Anderson were involved in an exchange of gunfire during the raid at his parents' home on Jubilee Avenue in Winnipeg. Anderson also was shot during the incident but has recovered.

At a sentencing hearing on Thursday in Court of Queen's Bench in Winnipeg, Crown lawyer Brian Bell painted Anderson as a remorseless offender who ambushed police in an effort to protect his drug stash.

At the trial last fall, Anderson's then lawyer Sarah Inness said her client thought he was the victim of a home invasion when the police burst through the door. He also had reason to believe he was about to be assaulted and face death or bodily harm — so he was acting in self-defence, she said.

During the raid, police found just under two kilograms of marijuana scattered through the home, including in a closet in Anderson's parents' bedroom, in the basement and under a bed in the room Anderson shared with his girlfriend.

Anderson pleaded guilty in May to a single charge of drug trafficking. Two other charges, for possession of drugs and proceeds of crime, were stayed. He was sentenced to the 153 days he had already served in custody.

His mother, father and girlfriend had been charged with drug-related offences, but those counts were dropped in early June after Anderson, who had no police record before the December incident, took sole responsibility for the drugs in the home.