Murder attempt on dealer Melvin nets 16 years
Jeremy Alvin Leblanc, 28, was sentenced Thursday in Nova Scotia Supreme Court. He had pleaded guilty to attempted murder with a firearm for the 2008 attack on Melvin, a notorious crime figure in the Halifax area.
Justice Felix Cacchione gave Leblanc no credit for the time he has already spent behind bars.
"I think it sends a strong message at a time when a strong message needs to be sent because of the proliferation of gunplay recently in Halifax," prosecutor Shauna MacDonald told CBC News.
"I think Justice Cacchione really focused on the real risk to innocent bystanders."
The case against Leblanc began with a series of wiretaps in the fall of 2008.
MacDonald said police suspected Leblanc was a drug leader, so they bugged his phone and car and recorded his conversations.
At one point, investigators heard Leblanc agree to meet an unknown man. Then they heard him make plans about an ambush and escape.
MacDonald said police didn't realize it was an attack on Melvin.
"You go back and listen to the wires and they're talking about, 'When he comes out the door, we're gonna blap him, blap him right there in the field,'" she said. And then you say, 'Oh my gosh, Jimmy Melvin was shot in the field,' and then it all makes sense."
Melvin's injuries were not life-threatening. No bystanders were hurt.
MacDonald said Leblanc had gunshot residue on his hands when he was arrested that night.
"We can say that Jeremy Leblanc was very much orchestrating, calling for assistance, heavily involved in the planning," she said. "But whether or not he was the triggerman, he's not admitting. Jimmy Melvin's not telling us."
Leblanc will have to spend at least eight years in prison before he's eligible for parole.