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Attempted murder trial begins for Lethbridge man

A Lethbridge man accused of attempted murder was brought before a provincial judge on Thursday for the first day of what is expected to be a four-day trial.

Robert John Sheppard, 33, is facing 12 charges including one of attempted murder, one of assault with a weapon and other charges pertaining to owning and using a firearm.

The charges stem from an incident in April 2018 where Sheppard allegedly shot at a west side home in what police called a “targeted attack.”

READ MORE: Attempted murder charges laid in ‘targeted’ southern Alberta shooting

The trial opened on Thursday with an agreed statement of facts. The Crown noted the accused and the alleged target of the attempted murder know each other and four people were inside the home when the incident took place.

The Crown then called its first witnesses to the stand, which included a 20-year-old woman who lives at the home and a 20-year-old man who was visiting at the time of the alleged shooting.

As Sheppard sat in the prisoner’s box, both testified before the provincial judge,recounting the events that took place on the evening of April 15, 2018.

Both witnesses testified that they saw Sheppard arrive in the backyard of the house to engage in a conversation with the female owner.

Each said she came inside, warning them to turn off the lights, shut off the music and lock the doors. The female witness adding the owner stated: “He’s yacking off about having a gun.”

Both witnesses then added the owner went back outside to talk with Sheppard.

Both stated, minutes later, they saw Sheppard forcibly push her into the patio doors, before they heard what they described as up to five gunshots.

However, upon cross examination from defence lawyer Andre Ouelette, neither could say they actually saw the accused holding a gun.

But the male witness did explain he saw Sheppard enter the backyard for a second time with a duffel bag.

READ MORE: Attempted murder charge laid in relation to northeast Calgary shooting

A responding officer with Lethbridge police also took the stand, testifying she responded to a shots-fired call on the night in question but did not have contact with the accused, only the four people who were inside the house when the incident occurred.

The Crown noted it expects to call up to six more witnesses, including the alleged target of the shooting, who is expected to take the stand when the trial continues on Friday morning.

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