Charges dropped in puppy shooting case

A Quadra Island man whose puppy was shot in the head and killed says there shouldn't be a time limit for violent crime trials. Nick Rose was astounded Wednesday when a judge dropped the charges against Cody Wellard, due to a lengthy delay in the case proceeding to trial.

Accused puppy killer Cody Wellard leaves Campbell River provincial court on Monday

A Quadra Island man whose puppy was shot in the head and killed says there shouldn’t be a time limit for violent crime trials.

Nick Rose was astounded Wednesday when a judge dropped the charges against Cody Wellard, due to a lengthy delay in the case proceeding to trial.

“Charges this serious shouldn’t be thrown out, no matter how long the delay,” Rose said following the decision. “It’s pretty upsetting. We’re getting a first-hand look at our legal system and it’s pretty pathetic.”

Wellard wasn’t in Campbell River provincial court when Judge Peter Doherty issued a stay of proceedings on charges of killing an animal and careless use of a firearm. The 33-year-old had pleaded not guilty to both charges.

Wellard was in court Monday with his lawyer during the application hearing to have the charges dropped. Defence lawyer James Hormoth said his client lost his job, faced threats and intimidation, and was penalized financially due to charges and the ongoing delays. And the judge agreed.

“I’m satisfied he has suffered prejudice,” Judge Doherty said Wednesday morning as he delivered his ruling.

The judge also blamed the delays on a shortage of judges for the North Island region. He said the case – slated for a two-day trial – wasn’t particularly complicated and the Crown did everything it could to have it proceed to trial.

Judge Doherty also noted there has been a series of recent delay applications in Campbell River and charges in those cases were also dropped due to a lack of judges to preside over trials.

“The failure to have a judge appointed has caused scheduling problems in a number of cases,” said Judge Doherty, who stayed the charges against Wellard based on the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms as well as Supreme Court of Canada decisions.

But that was of little comfort to Rose and his family. On the day of the alleged offence, Sept. 13, 2008, Rose and his 12-year-old son Max, who had been battling cancer, where outside chopping wood when their Jack Russell pup Seymour ran down the driveway as two hunters were passing by. A moment later, father and son heard a gunshot.

They ran towards the sound and found Seymour dying from a shot to his head. The gruesome aftermath was witnessed by Rose’s two children who were traumatized by the ordeal.

“Max ran inside and grabbed scissors…he wanted to go after them,” Rose recalled. “I told him ‘no, let the police deal with this’…and my daughter was terrified, she wondered if they were going to come back. And I’m sleeping with a two-by-four by my bed.”

According to police reports, Wellard left Quadra Island after the shooting and turned himself in three days later at the Westshore RCMP detachment near Victoria. He told officers the shooting was an accident.

Rose is now considering filing a lawsuit against Wellard, because he has no other options.

“This has been very frustrating and upsetting…and the victims of crime shouldn’t have to suffer because of staffing in the court,” he said.

E-mail paulr@campbellrivermirror.com

Just Posted

Trapped Vancouver Island crash survivor celebrates second chance at life

“Life is good now. It’s good to be alive.”

Habitat for Humanity hands over keys to Campbell River families

Organization will also hold key ceremony for project in Courtenay on Friday

Baby, it’s nasty outside: wind and rain will continue across Vancouver Island

Police warn drivers and pedestrians to use precaution during expected rain and winds

Campbell River to get safer as protective services increases OK’d

Another RCMP officer, better pay for auxiliary firefighters and more manpower at No.2 hall in 2020

Walkway at new boat ramp closed due to storm damage

Newly-constructed walkway fails its first test

VIDEO: ‘I won’t stop’ – local surfer hits the stormy seas of Stories Beach in Campbell River

Surfing community is growing in Campbell River, says Scotty Hewett

Sissons scores OT winner as Predators beat Canucks 4-3

VIDEO: Vancouver battles back to earn single point in Nashville

Lions announce seven members of coaching staff not coming back for 2019

The operational moves come two days after the Lions announced DeVone Claybrooks as the team’s new head coach

VIDEO: Kitten rescued from under school bus in Duncan

School staff have affectionately called kitten “Axle”

$12K awarded to atheist family who oppose Christmas, Hanukkah in B.C. classroom

Gary Mangel,May Yasue said holidays, Remembrance Day and Valentine’s Day not appropriate in preschool

Coach accused of sexual assault says apology letter was misinterpreted

Dave Brubaker has pleaded not guilty to one count of sexual assault and one count of invitation to sexual touching

Give the gift of nature this holiday season

Please don’t be mad, but I bought you a moose

Aboriginal poet faces backlash for calling out NHL-themed totem poles

Rebecca Thomas says she received backlash for asking a drugstore chain to remove NHL merchandise

No plans yet for free WiFi on BC Transit buses

BC Transit says they are monitoring the roll-out of free WiFi on Translink vehicles

Most Read