Chatham shooting suspect released on $40K bail

( © Can Stock Photo / AndreyPopov )

A youth charged with attempted murder in connection to a shooting in Chatham two months ago is being released from custody.

The 17-year-old from Cambridge was released on a $40,000 bail and will reside with his grandmother and her husband in Cambridge. He was arrested at the end of January and has been in detention at a youth centre ever since after being denied bail in February during his first attempt to be released.

The accused will be under house arrest unless attending court in Chatham or for medical emergencies. He is also not to have contact or any association with the three victims or the four co-accused or visit Chatham-Kent unless it’s to attend court. The youth can’t possess any weapons but will keep his cell phone and computer, although he must surrender them if he communicates with any of the victims or the co-accused. The teen must also be accompanied by one of his sureties at all times.

Terry St. Hill, 19, and another 17-year-old male suspect are still at large following the shooting on Harvey Street in Chatham on January 26. Canada-wide arrest warrants have also been issued for both suspects. Brianna Gardiner, 18, of Cambridge, and Riley Dejong-Vandusen, 19, of London are out on bail. All of the accused are charged with three counts of attempted murder.

The charges stem from an incident that saw three people shot at and a dog killed. Two of the people who were shot suffered non-life threatening injuries and the third person who was targeted was not hit. Police said the shooting was targeted.

The Assistant Crown asked the judge to keep the accused in custody but the judge cited a backlog of 60,000 cases waiting for trial across Ontario that could have kept the youth in detention for a year or more.

The bail hearing was held virtually on Friday and the judge heard the dispute started with threatening text messages. In question is who owned the gun, who pulled the trigger, and who was a bystander or spectator. The hearing was told the trip to Chatham was planned and the youth has relationships with some of the other suspects but no connection to Chatham-Kent.

The next court hearing is April 19. The teen will return to custody if any of the bail conditions are broken and his sureties may lose some or all of their money.

The accused can’t be named under the Youth Criminal Justice Act. A publication ban prevents more details of the case and the hearing from being made public.

None of the allegations have been proven in court.