Guilty man delays sentence

The two men convicted of being a part of a vicious assault outside of a Kelowna nightclub in 2014 will have to wait for their sentencing, after one of them decided to change their lawyer at the last minute.

Steven Kaplan was found guilty of aggravated assault in March for orchestrating the knockout sucker punch of Michael Martin, outside of Sapphire Nightclub on the night of Sept. 6, 2014.

Kyle O'Brien, a bouncer at Sapphire, was found guilty of assault, for dragging Martin from the club at the request of Kaplan, helping to facilitate the punch.

The pair were set to be sentenced in Supreme Court Friday morning, but Kaplan decided to change counsel earlier this week, forcing an adjournment.

Colby Johnson, defence council for O'Brien, said Friday that Kaplan's new lawyer, Ken Westlake, plans to have a psychological assessment done for Kaplan, which could delay the sentencing by about two months.

“I learned yesterday at about 3:00 in the afternoon from Mr. Westlake that he was now retained,” said Crown prosecutor David Grabavac. “The matter's going to have to be adjourned.”

Due to the sentencing principles of parity and proportionality for co-accused, both the Crown and defence agreed Kaplan and O'Brien should be sentenced at the same time.

“Through no fault of his own, Mr. O'Brien is going to be inconvenienced today,” Grabavac said.

While neither of the two men actually threw the devastating punch that fractured the victim's skull and put him in a coma, they were both convicted of assault, due to their involvement.

Kaplan, who had fought the victim earlier in the night, enlisted the help of the much larger Steven Kollie to sucker punch Martin.

On security footage outside Sapphire nightclub, Kaplan can be seen talking to O'Brien, before the bouncer goes in the club and drags Martin outside.

Following the punch, which took place directly in front of the club in plain view of O'Brien and the other bouncers, Kollie calmly walks away. None of the bouncers give pursuit.

Kollie was sentenced to five years in jail for the aggravated assault a year ago.

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