Video of ‘brutal, shocking and chilling execution’ opens Vancouver Island murder hearing

Sentencing underway for Brandon Woody after pleading guilty to second-degree murder in Nanaimo

A video monitor shows a man, wearing a black balaclava, walk up behind another man, raise a handgun and fire twice into his victim’s back. The victim falls to the floor and tries to cover his head with his hands as his assailant steps up, holds the gun close to the victim’s head and fires two more rounds before he runs from the hotel lobby.

The video, only a few seconds long, was captured by a security camera in the Howard Johnson Harbourside Hotel lobby, April 2017, when Brandon Tyler Woody fatally shot Andrew McLean, who was 34 at the time of his death.

Woody, arrested by police hours later in Duncan, was charged with first degree murder in the shooting, witnessed by the hotel’s night clerk, but pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of second-degree murder Feb. 15.

The video footage was Exhibit No. 1 in the Crown’s argument against leniency on the first day of Woody’s sentencing proceedings in B.C. Supreme Court on Monday.

“The attack on the victim, as depicted on the surveillance video, is a brutal, shocking and chilling account of an execution killing carried out with remarkable precision,” said Frank Dubenski, Crown counsel, in his statement of aggravating circumstances in the case against Woody. “The victim was unarmed, unsuspecting and in a vulnerable and helpless position. The manner in which the victim was killed gave Andrew McLean no opportunity whatsoever to defend himself … once the victim was on the ground, Woody showed no mercy. Even the presence of an innocent eyewitness gave Woody no pause in carrying out this mission.”

Dubensky went on say Woody also wore a disguise which was evidence of forethought and planning in the murder.

Woody also used a handgun while under a prohibition to use firearms stemming from a previous armed robbery conviction and the murder was committed in a place frequented by the public.

Dubenski also recounted how hours before the killing Woody, wearing the balaclava, entered a home on the 700 block of Haliburton Street and threatened several residents at gunpoint to coerce them into telling him McLean’s whereabouts.

According to the Crown, Woody initially claimed he did not personally know the victim, was only given a partial description of the victim, didn’t know why someone wanted him dead other than for the reason that he “goofed up,” was approached and offered a “ridiculous” amount of money to carry out the killing, which he turned down, and that he claimed the people who ordered the killing were people who did not take “no” for an answer and that the killing would be a simple trade of a life for a life and if he said no again they would go after his wife.

Woody also allegedly was contacted by phone by one unknown individual throughout the night leading up to the killing who gave him basic instructions, including which door of the hotel would be unlocked and that they wanted four shots and “was told at least two top, meaning in the head,” Dubenski said.

As for the handgun, Woody allegedly said he did not know where the handgun is, but that it was handed to him by a man in a white cargo van and after the shooting he handed the gun off to a motorcyclist waiting near the Duke Point Highway turnoff and allegedly wearing Hell Angels colours.

The gun was small, according to Woody, and didn’t have a kick. Bullets retrieved from the victim were .22 calibre.

Dubenski also noted that the police investigation into the case is ongoing and that a RCMP officer had stopped Woody on Terminal Avenue moments after the shooting but let him go when the emergency call went out about the shooting, but not before having gathered information about Woody’s identity. It was not until shortly afterward that Woody was considered a likely suspect.

Paul McMurray, Woody’s defence counsel, did not dispute Dubesnki’s presentation of facts.

Wanda Campbell, McLean’s mother, who has travelled from her home in Alberta for the sentencing, saw the video of her son’s killing for the first time Sunday.

Leading up to the showing of the video, Dubenski chronicled Woody’s and McLean’s activities and those of their associates in the days before the killing. He said both men were involved with the drug trade in Nanaimo and Victoria and McLean was known for violence.

“Each day feels like I’m just going through the motions, walking in a haze,” Campbell wrote in her victim statement. “Mostly I feel empty and so much as Andrew is on my mind every minute of every day. I will never be able to forgive the person responsible for this brutal senseless crime … It breaks my heart, the kind of life Andrew had as an adult, also that he will never have the opportunity to find the love of a good honest woman, marry and have kids or grow old.”

Sentencing proceedings are expected to continue until Wednesday, March 27.

Just Posted

Langford considers regulating sale of spray paint following string of vandalism

Regulations could involve restricting sale to minors, locking up spray paint

French Open at Bear Mountain serves a winner

The US Open is scheduled for Sept. 3 to 8 on the hardcourts at Henderson Park in Oak Bay

Union Club of B.C. votes in its first female president

16-year member Grace Van den Brink previously served as vice president

Convicted drug trafficker asks Victoria courtroom for chance to ‘turn this around’

Horst Schirmer sentenced for convictions on five counts of possession related to trafficking

Alzheimer Society calls for helpline volunteers in Greater Victoria

Charity is in ‘urgent need’ as calls on the rise

VIDEO: Trans Mountain expansion project gets green light, again

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the decision in Ottawa on Tuesday afternoon

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of June 18

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Do you support the government’s decision to approve the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion?

The federal government announced Tuesday its approval for the Trans Mountain pipeline… Continue reading

Man to be sentenced for sexual abuse of young girl in Nanaimo

Stephen Mark Castleden also sentenced for child pornography-related charges

MPs hear retired B.C. nurse’s petition to change compensation for fatal medical errors

Teri McGrath wants provinces to implement no-fault system for medical errors

Horgan says he’ll still defend B.C. coast after second Trans Mountain approval

Meanwhile, one B.C. First Nation has announced plans for a legal challenge

VIDEO: Firefighters stop blaze from spreading after BMW crashes at Saratoga Speedway

Victoria-based businessmen were ‘corner training’ on Father’s Day when incident took place

Demonstrators on either side of Trans Mountain debate clash in Vancouver

Crowd heard from member of Indigenous-led coalition that hopes to buy 51% of expansion project

Grieving B.C. mom hopes Facebook message leads to new investigation into son’s Surrey homicide

Criminal Justice Branch didn’t lay charges, concluding no substantial likelihood of murder or manslaughter conviction

Most Read