It’s been nearly a year since Randy Riley was convicted of second-degree murder in the 2010 shooting of pizza delivery driver Chad Smith, and the Halifax-area man has yet to receive a sentence.
“It is really irritating,” said Supreme Court Justice James Chipman on Friday, the day Riley was scheduled to learn his fate. Chipman postponed sentencing to March 20, to give both the Crown and defence attorneys time to produce briefings on a newly-submitted cultural assessment.
The homicide case has been fraught with delays since it started, including early adjournments as a result of changes in lawyers and the late assessment, which sought to add context to Riley’s actions through an examination of various historical and cultural factors.
Twenty-seven-year-old Smith was found dead from a shotgun wound in October 2010 while attempting to deliver a pizza to Joseph Young Street in Dartmouth.
Riley was initially charged with first-degree murder and unlawful possession of a firearm in relation to the shooting, but was found guilty of the lesser charge after a jury deliberated for 29 hours. A man named Nathan Johnson was convicted of first-degree murder in Smith’s death for having taken part in its planning, and placed the call that would lure Smith to the address where he was shot.
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Crown attorney Melanie Perry said the delays have taken a heavy toll on Smith’s family, particularly his mother.
“It’s been so difficult on them and they’ve had to go through another Christmas where they don’t have their son and they don’t have closure,”she told reporters at Supreme Court on Friday.
“And then thinking, you know it was going to be over today and then of course again another call from us a couple of weeks ago saying it’s not proceeding again, I can’t express to you how difficult this has been for them.”
Riley appeared in court via a video link from prison, but did not make any substantive comments when offered the chance to speak by Chipman.
The Crown and defence briefings in response to the cultural assessment are due on Feb. 15 and Feb. 27, respectively.
Perry said the Crown may call additional witnesses to the stand during the sentencing hearing, and possibly, submit additional evidence that was not admissible during earlier parts of the trial.
– with files from Graeme Benjamin