Nova Scotia

Dartmouth man sentenced in delivery driver's murder proclaims innocence

Randy Desmond Riley addressed a Halifax courtroom Wednesday during his sentencing in the death of Donald Chad Smith, who was gunned down on Oct. 23, 2010, while delivering a pizza.

Donald Chad Smith killed by single shotgun blast in Dartmouth in 2010

Randy Riley was charged in 2013, but three trial dates were delayed as he parted ways with a number of lawyers. (Robert Short/CBC)

A Dartmouth, N.S., man proclaimed his innocence Wednesday as he was sentenced to life in prison without a chance of parole for 15 years in the shooting death of a delivery driver.

Randy Desmond Riley addressed a Halifax courtroom during his sentencing for second-degree murder in the death of Donald Chad Smith, who was gunned down on Oct. 23, 2010, while delivering a pizza.

"To the family: I am not responsible, and I had no involvement in this man's death," Riley said.

Donald Chad Smith was shot to death in Dartmouth on Oct. 23, 2010. (Department of Justice)

He was sentenced by Nova Scotia Supreme Court Justice James Chipman. Riley's 15-year parole eligibility date will be calculated from the time of his arrest in 2013.

In his decision, Justice Chipman called it "a cold-blooded murder of a completely defenceless man who was in the course of his employment."

Murder carries an automatic life sentence. The Crown had argued Riley should not be eligible for parole for 17 to 18 years. Jurors recommended parole ineligibility of between 10 and 20 years.

Riley was convicted of second-degree murder in April 2018 following a trial. The Crown argued the killing followed a longstanding grudge between Riley and Smith.

The Crown said Riley and an accomplice, Nathan Johnson, placed a pizza order to the business where Smith was working as a delivery driver. The call was made from a pay phone near an apartment building in Dartmouth where Smith was killed by a single shotgun blast to the chest.

The judge called it "a truly senseless act" and said the entire extended Smith family has been devastated by the murder.

"He was tragically struck down at age 27 without a chance to see his daughters grow up," Chipman told the court.

"Two young girls have lost their father, family members have lost a loved one, a mother is without her life partner and parents have lost a son."

Johnson was convicted of first-degree murder and is serving a life sentence. He can't apply for parole for 25 years.

Riley was charged in 2013, but three trial dates were delayed as Riley parted ways with a number of lawyers

With files from the Canadian Press

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