Nova Scotia

Two men found guilty in IWK shooting

Two men have been found guilty of attempted murder and conspiracy to commit murder in a shooting outside a Halifax children's hospital in 2008.

Two men have been found guilty of attempted murder and conspiracy to commit murder in a shooting outside a Halifax children's hospital in 2008.

Jeremy Alvin Leblanc, 28, and Matthew James Murphy, 26, had both denied they had any knowledge of the attempt on Jason Hallett's life — a man with links to the Melvin crime family.

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

Shortly before, he had stepped out of the front entrance of the hospital after visiting his spouse and new baby.

Judge Kevin Coady ruled Tuesday in Halifax Supreme Court that audio from a police wiretap and surveillance video from outside the hospital provided enough evidence to convict both men.

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

Crown attorney Denise Smith said she would pursue "strong, deterrent sentences" for the two men.

"The court noted in its decision that Mr. Leblanc was the orchestrator, the planner of this event," she told reporters.

Aaron Gregory Marriott was sentenced to 15 years in prison in May for his part in the shooting. Another man, Shaun Ryan Smith, was sentenced to 10 years in prison after he pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit murder.

While neither Leblanc nor Murphy pulled the trigger on Hallett, they directed Marriott and Smith to where the victim was outside the hospital.

Marriott pulled the trigger.

"Certainly when Mr. Marriott — the shooter — was sentenced, he received a very strong deterrent sentence, as did the other individual who's been sentenced so far," said Denise Smith.

Smith said she will ask for similar penalties for Leblanc and Murphy when the two are sentenced during separate hearings on Sept. 22. The maximum sentence would be life imprisonment.

LeBlanc, who is serving a 16-year jail term on a separate murder conspiracy conviction, remains in police custody.

As Murphy was leaving court on Tuesday, he was asked by reporters to comment on his conviction.

"Bullshit," he said as he left.

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