Brandon Tyler Woody was sentenced in B.C. Supreme Court in Nanaimo for the April 2017 killing of Andrew McLean at a Nanaimo hotel. (News Bulletin file)

Man who committed murder at Vancouver Island hotel gets life sentence

Brandon Tyler Woody pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in 2017 shooting in Nanaimo

The shooter in a 2017 murder committed at a Nanaimo hotel has been handed down a life sentence with no chance of parole for 17 years.

Brandon Tyler Woody, 32, from Victoria, was initially charged with the first-degree murder of Andrew McLean, who was 34 when he was fatally shot at the Howard Johnson Harbourside Hotel in April 19, 2017. However, he pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of second-degree murder in February and was sentenced by Judge Paul Riley in B.C. Supreme Court in Nanaimo on Wednesday afternoon.

Paul McMurray, Woody’s legal counsel, had argued that his client was coerced into shooting McLean as he was concerned about the safety of his wife. During the three-day sentencing hearing, evidence was presented where Woody claimed that while he had initially turned down money for the killing, the people who ordered the killing “didn’t take no for an answer,” and saying no again would mean they would go after his wife.

According to the statement of facts, Woody had been receiving directions via a burner phone and Frank Dubenski, Crown counsel, said there was nothing in text messages that suggested a threat and furthermore, there was no evidence from his spouse that Woody alerted her to a threat, something Riley agreed with.

The content in Woody’s statement is too vague, Riley said, and was full of hearsay, assertions, conjecture and opinion to support applying that on a balance of probabilities, Woody was presented with a threat to the safety of his wife. Riley said he had concerns about the credibility of Woody’s account and couldn’t be satisfied that it was truthful or reliable.

The guilty plea meant a mandatory life sentence and while Dubenski sought parole ineligibility for 20 years, 17 was within the range. He stressed that Woody isn’t guaranteed parole and must apply and receive approval.

“That’s one thing some people don’t seem to understand,” said Dubenski. “Just a parole ineligibility period automatically means they’re released at that point, that is not true. At any time, if he breaches any conditions while on parole he’s brought back into custody and goes through a process of rigorous assessment to determine what his risk is.”

RELATED: First day of sentencing held in Nanaimo hotel murder case

RELATED: Defence says man committed fatal hotel shooting in Nanaimo to protect wife

McMurray said Woody had been assaulted a number of times in custody and sought a recommendation to have his client incarcerated at the Pacific Institution in Abbotsford, which would also allow access programming that would assist Woody. However, Riley said there are a lot of moving parts that need to be considered and suggested McMurray bring that up with correction officials.

Wanda Campbell, McLean’s mother, travelled from Alberta for sentencing and while she was satisfied about Woody’s 17-year parole ineligibility, she had harsh words her son’s killer.

“He can rot in hell. That’s all I got to say,” Campbell said. “I keep a lot in because I don’t like to break down in front of people.”

McMurray did not wish to comment.

Sentencing began Monday, when a trial by jury was originally scheduled to start.

Woody was stopped by RCMP in Duncan about an hour after the shooting and was arrested without incident.

Video footage entered into evidence showed a man, wearing a black balaclava, walk up behind McLean, raise a handgun and fire twice into his back. He fell to the floor and tried to cover his head with his hands as the shooter held the gun close to the McLean’s head and fired two more rounds before he ran from the hotel lobby.

McMurray provided information on Woody’s background, stating that he had been raised by a single mother, who was very ill and frequently in hospital, and his grandparents. His mother died when he was a young man, and struggled with depression since. McMurray also submitted letters of support, describing Woody as caring.

Woody had a previous conviction for armed robbery.

– with files from Chris Bush


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

OPINION: Urgent care room will cost lives

“Seniors, of any demographic, are the most vulnerable to the loss of emergency care.”

James Hayward coroner’s inquest rescheduled hours away from where RCMP shooting occured

The family is “a bit disappointed that it’s going to be held in Campbell River”

Deadline looming for North Island College scholarship applications

Students have until April 24 to apply for a record number of… Continue reading

BC Ferries to pilot selling beer and wine on select routes

Drinks from select B.C. breweries and VQA wineries to be sold on Swartz Bay to Tsawwassen route

Gil’s Girls win Harvey Walkus Memorial Ball Hockey Tournament in shootout

This year the tournament was held at the Don Cruickshank Memorial Arena on April 12-14.

VIDEO: Alberta man creates world’s biggest caricature

Dean Foster is trying to break the world record for a radio show contest

B.C. senior sentenced for sexually abusing special-needs granddaughter

73-year-old Cortes Island man will go to jail for three years

Howe Sound Queen sailing toward retirement

Vessel now up for auction ends regular runs between Crofton and Vesuvius at the beginning of June

Should B.C. lower speed limits on side roads to 30 km/h?

Vancouver city councillor wants to decrease speed limits along neighbourhood side roads

Lawsuit eyed over union-only raise for B.C. community care workers

‘Low-wage redress’ leaves 17,000 employees out, employers say

Landlord of alleged Okanagan shooter recounts deadly day

Tony Friesen was working in one of the units of his Penticton building when he heard shots

Foreign national arrested in connection to thefts at YVR

A woman, 60, is being held in police custody as Richmond RCMP investigate

Police pursue pesky porker on Vancouver Island

‘This was allegedly not the pig’s first escape’

Westjet tries again to dismiss proposed class-action lawsuit alleging discrimination

Former flight attendant claims airline broke contractual promise to create harassment-free workplace

Most Read