Alberta man acquitted on shooting charges in attempted robbery

A northern Alberta man who shot an intruder who was trying to steal his ATV was acquitted of multiple charges on Friday.

Eugene Dalton, 62, was acquitted of several firearms offences on Friday. The charges stemming from an incident where he was awoken by loud noises in the early morning of July 6, 2014.

Dalton grabbed a shotgun and stepped outside of his Chard home when a man drove an ATV towards him. Dalton testified he feared for his safety and fired the shotgun in the air “just to scare him away so he would take off and leave”. However the man, identified as Philip Janvier, was wounded in the upper left arm.

Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Dawn Pentelechuk said that Dalton’s actions had “tragic consequences”, but they were unintentional. “Recklessness cannot substitute for intention,” she said. “I cannot establish intent beyond a reasonable doubt.”

She accepted his testimony that he was in fear for his safety. She also ruled that he had acted in self defense determined that the quad, which belonged to Dalton, was being used as a weapon.

“I’m sorry for what happened,” said Dalton. “I didn’t mean for anything to happen to Philip Janvier.”

According to an agreed statement of facts, Janvier had gone to Dalton’s acreage with the intent to steal the quad.

Dalton was found not guilty of aggravated assault, discharging a firearm with intent to harm, and careless and unlawful use of a firearm. He was, however, given a six-month conditional discharge after he pleaded guilty to possession of a shotgun without a license. He was also given 50 hours of mandatory community service.

Chard is about 110 kilometers south of Fort McMurray.

  • John P Davis

    Score one for the good guys for a change.

  • Andrew Fowler

    I am glad to see this outcome however as far as I am concerned he should have never been arrested and charged in the first place. I can only imagine amount of anxiety and stress this man has had to endure while waiting for his trial and the results. Also I can only imagine what his defence has cost him. What about the man that was stealing his quad? Is he in prison where he belongs. I believe in a person’s right to protect his home and family. It is just a sin that a defence in a case like this probably cost this man a fortune. Unfortunately it seems that criminals have more rights than those of us trying to protect our own. In a perfect world this man would have never been charged and the thief would be sitting behind prison bars for ten plus years. Penalties for most crimes are far to lenient. There is not a big enough deterrent to prevent crimes such as stealing this man’s quad. It would not surprise me if the thief in this case got off with nothing more than a slap on the wrist. I do hope that Dalton gets some kind of medal though. It is just unfortunate that he has had to go through what he has just to defend his own property. It is also unfortunate that he will still have a criminal record because of the charges he was convicted on. Qoudos Mr. Dalton as John Davis said above ” chalk one up for the good guys” for a change.

  • michel joannette

    one for the god guy ….