Shane Richard sentenced to life imprisonment 

No parole for 16 years for 2007 murder in Whistler

Family and friends of murder victim Michael Boutros got their wish for a harsh sentence, as Supreme Court Judge Christopher Hinkson sent a message Wednesday in his sentencing of Shane Richard.

Richard was given life imprisonment, with no eligibility for parole for 16 years, a mandatory lifetime firearms prohibition, and a DNA order whereby a sample of his blood will be stored in a registry to guard against future offences.

Now 29 years old, Shane Richard will be at least 45 years old before he can be released from prison.

Judge Hinkson sentenced Richard on March 11, almost two years to the day after Richard shot and killed Boutros in Whistler Village after an altercation between two groups of men outside a Whistler nightclub. At the time, Richard was acting as a bodyguard for a known drug dealer, who was involved in an earlier scuffle. Michael Boutros was carrying a broken bottle, and Richard allegedly told Boutros, 26, to drop the bottle and fight like a man before pulling out a gun and shooting Boutros from a range of two metres.

The incident was witnessed by an RCMP patrol and dog team, and Richard was subdued by a police dog while attempting to flee the scene.

Richard admitted to shooting Boutros, but argued that he was acting in self-defence.

Richard's lawyer acknowledged his client's history and the fact that he violated a firearms prohibition at the time of the murder would make it unlikely that parole would be a possibility after 10 years. However, given the circumstances he asked for parole after 12 to 15 years.

Family members gave victim impact statements at Richard's first sentencing hearing on Feb. 26, and asked the judge to set an example for gun violence. Judge Hinkson did that with his ruling of no parole for 16 years. The maximum sentence would be no parole for 25 years.

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