Former Nova Scotia boxing prodigy charged in Cole Harbour triple shooting
DARTMOUTH – Four teenagers have now been charged in connection to a violent triple shooting in Cole Harbour that happened on Sunday.
Markel Jason Downey, 18, appeared in Dartmouth provincial court on Tuesday to face 19 charges, including three counts of attempted murder and various weapons offences.
He was charged with failing to comply with recognizance/undertaking, which stems from charges he already faces for a shooting in North Preston in June.
Downey was a promising boxer who won gold at the 2011 Canada Winter Games in Halifax and had aspirations to compete one day at the Olympics.
On Tuesday, he covered his face with his hands as sheriffs led him out of the courthouse to be transported back into custody.
“[The] Crown is opposed to him being released at this point in time,” said Downey’s lawyer Patrick MacEwen. “We just received the file so we’re going to take the opportunity to review that file. We’ll be back on thursday to set a date for a bail hearing.”
RCMP allege Downey and three other men wearing bandanas over their faces broke into a home on Arklow Drive and shot three people inside on Sunday evening.
A 17-year-old boy, an 18-year-old man and a 17-year-old girl were injured. Police said two of the victims have serious injuries.
Downey and a 17-year-old boy were arrested that night, after surrendering to police who had surrounded a house on Caldwell Road.
Two other 17-year-old young offenders were arrested the following day in the Cole Harbour area.
Downey’s lawyer said he spoke briefly with his client and agrees he’s facing very serious charges.
“He is doing about as well as can be expected in these circumstances. I didn’t have an opportunity to speak with him for any significant period of time, but he seems to be keeping it together,” MacEwen said.
All this is a far cry from the limelight and success Downey enjoyed just a few years ago.
“It feels great,” Downey told reporters in 2011, soon after his gold-medal win. “I thank these guys for having me, for being in my corner for me, taking me to all the training camps and stuff and I’d like to thank my community … everybody, my mom, my dad.”
Three years later, the coach who stood so proudly beside Downey during that media conference, said he can’t believe what has happened to the former rising star.
Wayne Gordon was in charge of the Canada Games team and said Downey was disciplined, hard-working and the “sparkplug of the team.”
“He had total support of his community and you could see that he really walked with his head high,” Gordon said. “He was a very proud individual and he really was a leader on our team and it paid off for him.”
Despite his success, Gordon said Downey walked away from boxing soon after that gold-medal win and lost contact with his former coach.
“Boxing is a discipline where you think about the decisions you make before you make them, and rash movements or decision making doesn’t pay off,” Gordon said.
“So when he walked away from boxing, that was more or less the last contact I had with him and obviously decision making isn’t something he’s been able to do properly in life.”
Downey is scheduled to appear back in court on Thursday to set a bail hearing date.
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