Nova Scotia

Mastermind of IWK shooting sentenced

The man who planned a brazen shooting outside the children's hospital in Halifax will have to spend more time behind bars.

Jeremy Leblanc's punishment adds up to 26 years in prison

The man who planned a brazen shooting outside the children's hospital in Halifax will have to spend more time behind bars.

Jeremy Alvin Leblanc, 29, was sentenced Thursday for attempted murder and conspiracy to commit murder in the 2008 shooting of Jason Hallett.

The 10-year sentences will be served at the same time, but they will be added to the 16-year sentence he received in another attempted-murder case.

Crown attorney Denise Smith called the sentence "fit and appropriate."

"Mr. Leblanc was found to be the ringleader and instigator of this offence," she told reporters outside Nova Scotia Supreme Court. "His moral blame-worthiness in the eyes of the justice system was equal to that of the person who pulled the trigger."

Defence lawyer Peter Planetta said the sentence serves as a deterrent but also takes into account his client's previous conviction.

"He understood that it would be a lengthy period of custody," Planetta said.

Leblanc ordered the hit on Hallett, a member of a rival gang, but Aaron Gregory Marriott pulled the trigger.

Hallett was visiting his spouse and newborn at the IWK Health Centre on Nov. 18, 2008. He was wounded in the wrist when several shots were fired at him while he was sitting in his Jeep Cherokee.

Marriott was convicted of attempted murder and sentenced in May to 15 years in prison.

The man who drove Marriott, Shaun Ryan Smith, was sentenced to 10 years in prison after pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit murder.

Matthew James Murphy has yet to be sentenced for his part in the shooting. He was convicted of attempted murder and conspiracy to commit murder in June, along with Leblanc.

Caught on tape

While the two men denied their knowledge of the attempt on Hallett's life, Justice Kevin Coady ruled that audio from a police wiretap and surveillance video from outside the hospital provided enough evidence to convict them.

The security footage was showed during the trial. In it, a figure in white approaches a vehicle outside the IWK. The figure darts toward the Jeep Cherokee with one arm raised before running out of the camera frame.

A police witness testified during the trial that the figure was Marriott.

Police officers also testified that they had started a wire tap for a wider criminal investigation on the day of the shooting. In a series of cellphone conversations, Leblanc, Murphy, Marriott and Smith were heard working out instructions for the shooting.

"Blaze the Cherokee," Leblanc said at one point.

Coady described the case as a "settling of scores between rival gangs in the city's drug trade."

Leblanc has been serving his time at the Central Nova Scotia Correctional Facility in Dartmouth. He will be transferred to a federal facility.