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 near Argenta 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

Const. Allan Young. Photo: Abbotsford Police Department
Manslaughter charge laid in Nelson death of Abbotsford police officer

Allan Young died after an incident in downtown Nelson last summer

Forty-seven vaccination clinics will open across Interior Health beginning March 15. (Canadian Press)
48 COVID-19 vaccine clinics to open across Interior Health

Select groups can book appointments starting Monday

Seniors in the Interior Health region can book their COVID-19 vaccinations starting Monday, March 8, 2021 at 7 a.m. (File photo)
Seniors in Interior Heath region can book COVID-19 shots starting Monday

Starting March 8 the vaccination call centre will be open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily

Jasper after he was reunited with his owners Mary and Brent Hummel. Photo: Steve Smith
New children’s book features lost Castlegar dog who swam the Columbia multiple times

Brent and Mary Hummel and Jasper tell their dramatic story

Interior Health reported 33 new COVID-19 cases on March 5. (Black Press Files)
Interior Health reports 33 new COVID-19 cases on March 5

Over 300,000 vaccine doses have been administered provincewide.

Elvira D’Angelo, 92, waits to receive her COVID-19 vaccination shot at a clinic in Montreal, Sunday, March 7, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
‘It’s been a good week’: Tam hopeful on vaccines as pandemic anniversary nears

Tam says the addition of two new vaccines will help Canadians get immunized faster

(The Canadian Press)
‘Worse than Sept. 11, SARS and financial crisis combined’: Tourism industry in crisis

Travel services saw the biggest drop in active businesses with 31 per cent fewer firms operating

Pictures and notes in from friends and classmates make up a memorial in support and memory of Aubrey Berry, 4, and her sister Chloe, 6, during a vigil held at Willows Beach in Oak Bay, B.C., on December 30, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Mother of slain daughters supports recent changes to Canada’s Divorce Act

Sarah Cotton-Elliott said she believed her children took a back seat to arranging equal parenting

Victoria man Brett Andersen is asking for people’s help to secure him one of eight free tickets to the moon. (Screenshot/@brettandersen Instagram)
Victoria man wants your help securing a free ticket to the moon

Japanese billionaire offering eight people a trip to the moon

The Conservation Officers Service is warning aquarium users after invasive and potentially destructive mussels were found in moss balls from a pet store. (BC Conservation Officers Service/Facebook)
Aquarium users in B.C. warned after invasive mussels found at pet store

Conservation officers were told the mussels were found in a moss ball from a Terrace pet store.

Hockey hall-of-fame legend Wayne Gretzky, right, watches the casket of his father, Walter Gretzky, as it is carried from the church during a funeral service in Brantford, Ont., Saturday, March 6, 2021. HE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Walter Gretzky remembered as a man with a ‘heart of gold’ at funeral

The famous hockey father died Thursday at age 82 after battling Parkinson’s disease

Donald Alan Sweet was once an all star CFL kicker who played for the Montreal Alouettes and Montreal Concordes over a 13-year career. Photo courtesy of Mission RCMP.
Ex-B.C. teacher who was CFL kicker charged with assault, sexual crimes against former students

Donald Sweet taught in Mission School District for 10 years, investigators seek further witnesses

During a press event on March 6, Const. Alex Berube, media relations officer for the West Shore RCMP, addressed a deadly shooting that occurred in Metchosin the night before. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
VIDEO: One man shot dead on Vancouver Island in ‘targeted incident’

Highway 14 reopens following multi-hour closure for investigation

Most Read