Shooting trial date set for Vernon man already in jail for firing gun over girlfriend's head

Trial set in second shooting

A Vernon man already in jail for discharging a firearm over his girlfriend's head faces a new trial for another shooting incident.

Derek Ryan Baptiste is scheduled for a pretrial conference July 6, 2021, at the Vernon courthouse on charges of  reckless discharge of a firearm, aggravated assault, and using a firearm in the commission of an offence.

He is alleged to have fired a gun into a suite on 24th Avenue in January 2018.

At the time, neighbours said they heard gunfire and screaming about 2 a.m.

Police said a woman was rushed to hospital with life-threatening injuries. The shooting victim survived.

Dan McLaughlin, communications counsel with the BC Prosecution Service, says the pretrial conference will be followed by a trial, currently scheduled for Sept. 7, 2021.

In February, Baptiste was sentenced to four and a half years for firing a rifle into the ceiling above his girlfriend's head at his father's home on Okanagan Indian Band land. With credit for pretrial custody, his sentence was reduced to three years.

Baptiste and his then-girlfriend had been drinking heavily and doing drugs at the time of the incident.

The following day, Baptiste was found in a crashed car on the reserve. The rifle was inside the car, loaded with a single cartridge in its chamber, ready to be fired.

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