Singharath admitted to shooting Applegate on July 22, 2017, in Saskatoon’s Westview neighbourhood. The central question following trial was whether the shooting was intentional or accidental.
“There is simply no air of reality to the defence of accidental discharge,” Justice Richard Elson stated.
Sentencing and victim impact statements are scheduled for Friday.
Kathy Cardinal, Applegate’s spouse, testified during trial that the shooting came after a man urinated on the family’s fence near 33rd Street West and Avenue W North. Applegate and another man chased the person away, she said.
“I found Ms. Cardinal’s evidence to be the most credible and reliable evidence,” Elson said.
A short time later, a stolen Nissan Titan truck drove into the back lane behind the family’s 33rd Street West duplex. Three men got out, one of whom was wearing a black bandana concealing his face, Cardinal testified.
As Applegate approached the group, Cardinal said he wrapped a dog leash around his arm and carried a child’s bike to defend himself.
Singharath fired a sawed off .22 calibre bolt action rifle known as Lakefiled Mossberg Mark 2. The bullet hit Applegate in the left side of the body.
“He knew what he was doing when he fired that gun,” Crown prosecutor Cory Bliss argued in March.
Bliss said Applegate did nothing to “startle or disturb” the gunman, and there was no witness testimony about Singharath calling the shooting an accident.
Applegate’s sister, Starla Sippola, told reporters she’s glad and relieved to see a second-degree murder conviction rather than manslaughter.
“People don’t bring a gun somewhere accidentally. You don’t shoot someone accidentally,” Sipploa said.
“It was just senseless. The guy’s an a—–e.”
She hopes the result can help her resolve negative feelings that persist three years after her brother’s death.
“I’m hoping maybe I’m not going to be so angry. Maybe it will give me a bit of ease there because I carry a lot of anger and resentment towards it,” Sippola said.
Singharath did not testify in his own defence.
Defence lawyer Laura Mischuk said there may not have been testimony stating the shooting was accidental or unintentional, but that represents “an absence of evidence,” rather than guilt.
She argued manslaughter would have been the proper outcome in the case.