Nova Scotia

Man who murdered Tylor McInnis gets no chance of parole for 16 years

Shawntez Neco Downey, the man who was found guilty of second-degree murder in the shooting death of Tylor McInnis, must serve 16 years behind bars before he's eligible for parole. 

Shawntez Neco Downey was found guilty of second-degree murder in 2019

The body of Tylor McInnis, 26, of Halifax was found in a stolen car that had been abandoned in North Preston. (Submitted by Taya Gillis-David)

Shawntez Neco Downey, the man who was found guilty of second-degree murder in the shooting death of Tylor McInnis, must serve 16 years behind bars before he's eligible for parole.

A second-degree murder charge automatically comes with a life sentence and has a minimum parole ineligibility of ten years. Downey's parole ineligibility was determined by Justice Denise Boudreau and handed out in court Monday. 

Downey was initially remanded in custody in September 2016 and will be given credit for time served, leaving 12 years before he's eligible for parole.

The Crown recommended no parole for 21 years and the defence asked for 13 to 15 years.

Good behaviour considered

At Monday's hearing, defence lawyer Eugene Tan presented testimonials from correctional officers who said Downey, so far, had a record of good behaviour while incarcerated. Tan, Boudreau and Crown lawyer Erica Koresawa all said they'd never before seen such positive reviews from correctional officials.

But McInnis's mother, Catherine McInnis, said despite that good behaviour, Downey has yet to earn his parole.

"He took a human being. That was my human being that I created, that I gave life to," McInnis told reporters outside the courtroom Monday afternoon.

"Nobody has a right to take any human being."

McInnis said her son has left behind four children who "suffer dearly" with the grief of losing their father.

Catherine McInnis, Tylor McInnis's mother, said she still struggles daily with grief. (Rob Short/CBC)

McInnis' body was found Aug. 23, 2016 in the trunk of a stolen car left in a cemetery in North Preston. 

Downey was found guilty of killing McInnis in 2019, but his sentencing was postponed to allow for a cultural assessment to be prepared. 

During the trial in Nova Scotia Supreme Court in Halifax, the Crown argued McInnis had gone to North Preston that night intending to trade drugs for a gun, but Downey decided to rob him instead and shot him to death.

Deadly encounter

Testimony by Ronald Sock during Downey's trial outlined what happened to McInnis. 

Sock testified he saw Downey hit McInnis with a gun that night. When McInnis ran into the woods, Sock said Downey pursued him.

Sock said he stayed behind and hog-tied McInnis's friend, Liam Thompson, with a dog leash. 

Thompson was put in the back seat of his own car by Sock and driven a short distance. Sock then said he heard a single gunshot.

Downey and his accomplices took Thompson's car, with Thompson bound on the floor in the back seat, and loaded McInnis's body into the trunk.

They then abandoned the car and its contents in a North Preston cemetery.

No eyewitnesses to shooting

At the time, Crown attorney Cheryl Schurman said while there were no eyewitnesses to the shooting, there was sufficient evidence for the jury to reasonably infer what happened.

Thompson was able to escape from the car the next morning and walk to the home of relatives. In his testimony, he claimed to have little memory of what happened that night.

Downey was also found guilty of attempted murder, kidnapping and forcible confinement of Thompson. Boudreau sentenced Downey for those two crimes Monday and he received 11 and 10 years, respectively. He'll serve those sentences concurrently with the second-degree murder charge.

Downey has appealed his murder conviction and a hearing is set to begin on Dec. 9, 2020.

Downey's younger brother, Daniel Romeo Downey, has already been sentenced as an accomplice to McInnis' killing, as has Nicco Smith, who pleaded guilty to being an accessory. 


With files from Blair Rhodes and Preston Mulligan