The trial of Harry Richardson began Monday at the Nelson courthouse. File photo

The trial of Harry Richardson began Monday at the Nelson courthouse. File photo

Trial of man accused of shooting RCMP officer in West Kootenay in 2019 begins

Harry Richardson is facing five charges in a Nelson courtroom

The trial of a man accused of the attempted murder of an RCMP officer near Argenta in 2019 began Monday with an unexpected guilty plea to a lesser charge.

Harry Richardson, who is facing five charges included two of attempted murder with a firearm, is alleged to have broke into a home and fired on Kaslo RCMP officer Const. Shaun Kennedy and reserve Const. Darryl Hammond on Oct. 10, 2019.

Richardson, who is representing himself, pled not guilty to every charge except one, wilfully resisting or obstructing a peace officer. His admission of guilt appeared to surprise Judge Philip Seagram in the Nelson provincial courtroom.

In her opening statement, Crown counsel Rebecca Smyth told the court an Argenta resident was taking care of a friend’s home while they were away on holiday. She noticed someone had broken into the home, and decided not to enter.

Instead, the person called the home and was surprised when a man who was not the owner answered. She then called police.

When Kennedy and Hammond arrived at the home, Smyth said Richardson allegedly threw gasoline down from a second-story window and lit the ground in front of the building on fire.

Richardson then allegedly opened fire on the officers. Hammond, who had taken cover behind a tree, received three gun shot wounds to his arm and hand.

Smyth said another officer who later arrived was also nearly shot, which accounts for Richardson’s second attempted murder charge.

A long standoff ensued through the night, and ended after Richardson allegedly escaped from the home before being apprehended.

Kennedy, Smyth’s opening witness, told the court he had previously been searching for Richardson after a male had refused to leave Meadow Creek Store near Argenta on Sept. 25. Kennedy said Richardson was later identified through a police database that showed two outstanding warrants for his arrest.

Kennedy also said he had later spotted and chased Richardson through the Argenta Community Hall, but had lost track of him in the surrounding forest.

The trial is expected to take 15 days, in part because Smyth told Seagram she will be calling 25 witnesses to the stand.

Richardson said he does not expect to call any witnesses on his behalf.

@tyler_harper | tyler.harper@nelsonstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

CrimeRCMP

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

(Phil McLachlan/Capital News)
Murder charge laid in February 2020 stabbing death of Smithers man

Michael Egenolf is charged with the second-degree murder of Brodie Cumiskey

Island Health chief medical officer Dr. Richard Stanwick receives a first dose of Pfizer vaccine, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
COVID-19: B.C. seniors aged 90+ can start to sign up for vaccination on March 8

Long-term care residents protected by shots already given

The village is hoping for a start date in early April with completion as soon as possible. (Granisle Village website photo/Houston Today)
Granisle’s curling rink to receive a facelift

Receives a $362,148 provincial grant

A huge milestone for Granisle to reach 50 years, said Mayor. (Village of Granisle photo/Lakes District News)
Granisle’s 50 years anniversary celebration postponed

The celebrations are now set to be held in 2022

Topley is part of the 10 projects funded in the north. (Laura Blackwell photo/Houston Today)
Topley to receive economic funding

Part of province’s $20.7 million Climate Adaptation Program

Health Minister Adrian Dix looks on as Dr. Bonnie Henry pauses for a moment as she gives her daily media briefing regarding COVID-19 for British Columbia in Victoria, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
7 additional deaths and 542 new COVID-19 cases in B.C.

Provincial health officials reported 18 new COVID-19 cases linked to variants of concern

The City of Vancouver estimates there are 3,500 Canada geese in the city right now, and that number is growing. (Bruce Hogarth)
Help tame Vancouver’s Canada goose population by reporting nests: park officials

The city is asking residents to be on the lookout so staff can remove nests or addle eggs

Chief Justice Christopher Hinkson (Office of the Chief Justice)
Judge questions whether B.C.’s top doctor appreciated right to religious freedom

Lawyer for province says Dr. Henry has outlined the reasons for her orders publicly

A sample of guns seized at the Pacific Highway border crossing from the U.S. into B.C. in 2014. Guns smuggled from the U.S. are used in criminal activity, often associated with drug gangs. (Canada Border Service Agency)
B.C. moves to seize vehicles transporting illegal firearms

Bill bans sale of imitation or BB guns to young people

BC Housing minister David Eby is concerned that Penticton council’s decision to close a local homeless shelter will result in a “tent city” similar to this one in Everett, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / Black Press file)
‘Disappointed and baffled’ B.C. housing minister warns of tent city in Penticton

Penticton council’s decision to close a local homeless shelter could create tent city, says David Eby

A recently published study out of UBC has found a link between life satisfaction levels and overall health. (Pixabay)
Satisfied with life? It’s likely you’re healthier for it: UBC study

UBC psychologists have found those more satisfied with their life have a 26% reduced risk of dying

A vial of some of the first 500,000 of the two million AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine doses that Canada has secured through a deal with the Serum Institute of India in partnership with Verity Pharma at a facility in Milton, Ont., on Wednesday, March 3, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Carlos Osorio - POOL
Federal panel recommends 4-month gap between COVID vaccine doses due to limited supply

The recommendation applies to all COVID-19 vaccines currently approved in Canada

A vial of Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a family doctor office, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021 in Paris. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP -Christophe Ena
Trudeau ‘optimistic’ that timeline for rollout of COVID vaccines can be accelerated

Canada set to receive more than 6M COVID-19 vaccine dose than initially expected, by end of March

Beginning late Tuesday, anti-pipeline protesters blocked the intersection of Hastings Street and Clark Drive in Vancouver. (Instagram/Braidedwarriors)
Demonstrators block key access to Vancouver port over jail for pipeline protester

They group is protesting a 90-day jail sentence handed to a fellow anti-pipeline protester

Most Read