Sentencing for Valentine's Day mall plotter delayed for months

Psychologist hired to prepare report on Lindsay Souvannarath needed more time, says defence lawyer.

Psychologist hired to prepare report needed more time, says defence lawyer

American Lindsay Souvannarath arrives at provincial court in Halifax on Friday, March 6, 2015. Souvannarath pleaded guilty in April to a charge of conspiracy to commit murder. (Andrew Vaughan/Canadian Press)

An American woman who was part of a plot to attack the Halifax Shopping Centre on Valentine's Day 2015 will have to wait a while longer to learn her fate.

Lindsay Souvannarath was to be sentenced next month on a charge of conspiracy to commit murder for her part in the plot. But her lawyer went into court on Tuesday to ask for an adjournment.

Luke Craggs said a psychologist hired by the defence needs more time to prepare a report on Souvannarath and a Crown expert will then need time to respond to the defence report.

As a result, her sentencing is now scheduled to begin on April 16 of next year.

In the meantime, Souvannarath remains in custody in the provincial jail in Burnside. She has been there since her arrest on Feb. 13, 2015, the day before the attack was scheduled to take place.

Plan to attack food court

One of Souvannarath's co-conspirators, Randall Steven Shepherd, pleaded guilty to the same charge of conspiracy to commit murder and is now serving a 10-year prison term. The third member of the plot, Souvannarath's online boyfriend, James Gamble, took his own life just as police were closing in on his suburban Halifax home.

At Shepherd's sentencing, court was told that the plan was for Souvannarath and Gamble to take his father's guns and a quantity of Molotov cocktails into the food court at the shopping centre. Shepherd had decided not to participate in the actual attack and would only supply the makings for the gas bombs.

The trio was trying to emulate the two American men who staged a similar attack on a high school in Columbine, Colo., in April 1999. That attack led to the deaths of 15 people, including the two attackers, Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris.

About the Author

Blair Rhodes


Blair Rhodes has been a journalist for more than 34 years, the last 25 with CBC. His primary focus is on stories of crime and public safety.