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Man admits he shot victim in foot over New Year's noise complaint

Not all of the buckshot was removed from the victim's foot
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Robert Bell pleaded guilty Wednesday to shooting a man who complained about a noisy New Year's party at a west-end residence two years ago.

The victim knocked on the door of an Albert Street West building in the early morning hours of Jan. 1, 2021, asking the party-goers to quiet down.

Bell responded to the request by shooting him in the foot with a single-barrel shotgun.

The 30-year-old accused pleaded guilty, via Zoom, to four offences stemming from the incident.

He was convicted of using a firearm to commit aggravated assault, wounding, pointing a firearm, and possessing it without a licence.

Superior Court Justice Edward Gareau heard the incident occurred at 5:30 a.m. when the complainant, who lived nearby, went to the building located in the 600 block of the Sault Ste. Marie street.

He was on the front porch, when Bell and another male came down from the second-floor apartment.

Bell fired the gun at the victim, striking his right foot, prosecutor Stuart Woods said in an agreed statement of facts.

City police obtained video from a security camera in the apartment and another located in the stairwell leading up to it.

The footage showed Bell removing the shotgun from his parka at 3:52 a.m. when he arrived at the apartment, the assistant Crown attorney told the court.

At 5:29 a.m, he was captured on camera going down the stairs to the porch.

Bell is "out of view for 20 seconds" and the shooting occurred during that interval, Woods said. 

He is then seen leaving the porch and going back upstairs.

The injured complainant managed to get to another residence and was taken to Sault Area Hospital for treatment of gunshot wounds.

Multiple fragments of buckshot, but not all of them, were removed from his foot, Gareau heard.

Police didn't recover the firearm.

At the request of defence lawyer Jessica Grbevski sentencing was adjourned so that a pre-sentence court can be prepared.

Bell, who is in custody at the Thunder Bay Correctional Centre, will return to court on Nov. 27 to be sentenced.

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About the Author: Linda Richardson

Linda Richardson is a freelance journalist who has been covering Sault Ste. Marie's courts and other local news for more than 45 years.
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