Psychiatric report completed, accused scheduled for Dec. 17 court appearance

The judge presiding in the court proceedings of Matrix Gathergood, the man accused in the fatal shooting in a Salmon Arm church in April of this year, would like to see the wheels of justice turn more quickly.

With Gathergood appearing by video in Provincial Court in Salmon Arm on Dec. 2, Judge Dennis Morgan pointed out that it is now 230 days since the murder charge was laid, "a fact causing the court some concern."

The fatal shooting of Gordon Parmenter and the wounding of Paul Derkach at the Salmon Arm Church of Christ took place on April 14 of this year.

Judge Morgan told Gathergood's defence lawyer it is important he make a personal appearance at all court appearances from now on as there will be questions that an agent likely won't be able to answer.

Morgan noted that the most recent adjournment was for a valid reason, the compiling of a psychiatric report.

That report was completed on Nov. 19, Gathergood's last court date, so neither Crown nor the defence had had time to read it.

Defence lawyer Jonathan Avis said he would be meeting with his client on Friday, Dec. 6 when he is hopeful they will be able to determine a course of action.

The court agreed to a next court of appearance of Dec. 17.

Judge Morgan said if there are no clear instructions at that time, he would like Crown and defence to be ready to move forward to a preliminary inquiry.

Crown counsel Alison Buchanan said she's not sure if a preliminary inquiry will be necessary given the outcome of the psychiatric report, but both lawyers said they're hopeful they will be able to move forward at that time.

Morgan questioned whether Gathergood is still being detained under the Mental Health Act and he was told, yes, he is.

Gathergood is also charged with arson with regard to a fire that caused extensive damage to the Parmenter's home on March 14, a month before the shooting.

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