Man faces 3.5 years for gun

Crown prosecutors are looking to lock up a man for 3.5 years after he was caught with a loaded handgun in the parking lot of the Penticton Denny’s in 2016.

Cody Wilson was found guilty by a jury in February of three firearms charges related to an incident on Oct. 7, 2016 that saw him busted with a loaded revolver in his pocket.

RCMP was called to the scene by Wilson’s then-girlfriend, who reported him from the washroom of the restaurant. Officers pulled him from the truck in a full-force takedown. A second gun was found under his truck's seat, but the jury found him not guilty of possessing that gun as the Crown did not prove he knew it was there.

“Unauthorized firearms, especially concealed handguns, are a huge destabilizing threat to our community… and a significant period of imprisonment is therefore necessary to condemn the conduct,” Crown counsel Andrew Vandersluys said in Penticton court Friday, requesting a 42 month jail term.

Defence lawyer Michael Patterson argued prison wasn’t necessary, asking for a two year conditional sentence — primarily house arrest — followed by two to three years of probation.

He said Wilson’s family, who was in the courtroom, is able to provide a clean and supportive living environment for his client, who has no criminal record.

Patterson said Wilson has kept out of trouble and away from drugs while out on bail, a point the Crown called into question by noting he was arrested on May 17 for allegedly possessing stolen vehicle registration documents and methamphetamine.

Vandersluys admitted Wilson is still presumed innocent on those charges, but said the new charges show it’s not “clear cut” that Wilson is “fully reformed and well on his way to rehabilitation.”

“I do take responsibility for having that handgun on me, it was for self defence,” Wilson told the judge. “I know I should have never had it. I just — everything happened so fast back them.”

“But I do take responsibility. I am not a hardened criminal, nor do I want to be a hardened criminal,” he added.

Justice David Crossin reserved his judgement for for one week from today.

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