Wallaceburg shooter pleads guilty to aggravated assault

Attempted murder suspect Michael Authier of Wallaceburg. (Photo from Facebook)

A man accused of trying to murder a woman in Wallaceburg two years ago has pleaded guilty to a lesser charge.

Michael Authier, 34, of Wallaceburg pleaded guilty to aggravated assault on Monday in connection with the shooting of Brooke Williams on February 26, 2019 at King Street and Albert Street in Wallaceburg. The female victim was 18 years old at the time of the shooting and has recovered from her physical injuries. Authier was initially charged with attempted murder.

Defence lawyer Frank Retar said the shot was only meant to scare the victim and her friends in order to get them to leave his property after they came to Authier’s house at 2 a.m. in a vehicle. The court heard Authier shot at the vehicle after being approached by Alexia Greenberg while still sitting in his car. Assistant Crown James Boonstra said Greenberg was returning to her car when the shot was fired and it hit the passenger side where Williams was sitting. Williams was struck in the face with pellets and glass fragments from the shot out window.

Retar said Williams told police the night she was hurt that her and her friends consumed methamphetamine before they went to meet Authier outside of the public library in Wallaceburg with the intent to rob him in an alleged drug deal gone bad. Retar said Authier took off when he saw two men in masks get out of their vehicle and head towards his car. Williams said Authier was followed by a car driven by Joseph Shipman with Michael Peters, Williams and Greenberg as passengers.

Authier’s sentencing will take place on September 13, 2021 by video in Chatham court. In Canada, aggravated assault carries a maximum sentence of 14 years in prison.

The judge reminded Authier to obey all of his bail conditions until he is taken into custody in September. The sentencing on September 13 will include a victim impact statement.

Authier was released from jail on $100,000 bail a year ago with strict bail conditions, which include being with his sureties at all times, living with his parents, and getting treatment for his drug issues. He is also to have no contact with Williams, Greenberg, Shipman, and Peters. He is not allowed to possess any weapons, and is not allowed to carry or consume any drugs.