The court of appeal refused to reduce the sentence of a man who shot a worker in the leg and pistol whipped another man during an attempted robbery in Langley four years ago.
Christopher Carl Agin was sentenced to 11 years behind bars after he attempted to rob a Health Canada-approved marijuana grow operation near 216th Street on March 16.
The owner of the medical grow operation and a worker were in an outbuilding when Agin and another man arrived.
The owner received a phone call from the home on the property. He pulled out the bar that he kept across the door of the outbuilding, and was faced with Agin and the other man, with Agin brandishing a gun.
Agin shouted at the owner and worker to get down, and hit the owner twice in the head with a pistol.
While Agin managed to get into the barn, the owner used the bar from the door to fight off the other man, who ran away.
An employee tried to charge Agin, who shot the worker in the leg.
Agin then fled the scene of the crime, firing one more shot at the owner from about 20 meters away. The shot missed and shattere the window of a truck next to the owner.
Police found Agin about an hour later hiding in the back yard of a Langley home. Under a tree nearby, officers found a Glock 9mm handgun with a laser sight. The gun had four bullets in its magazine and one in the chamber, and another magazine had 14 cartridges. The gun and magazines were all prohibited.
Agin’s initial sentence was based on his lengthy criminal history – he had 48 prior convictions, and had just been released from a previous prison term after threatening his landlord with a gun – and the violence of the crime.
But Agin argued that the sentence should have been shorter, because the judge at his first trial compared it to a home invasion.
Agin didn’t invade a private home, but a workplace, his lawyer argued. Invading a home would have been worse, so the judge erred in their initial sentence.
Two of the three court of appeal judges dismissed that idea.
“While 11 years is a significant sentence for an armed robbery involving violence, it is certainly not a significant departure from sentences imposed in like cases on similarly situated offenders,” wrote Justice Sunni Stromberg-Stein and Justice Gregory Fitch.
Justice Elizabeth Bennett wrote a dissenting opinion, saying that when the aggravating factor of a “home invasion” was removed, it would justify reducing the sentence. Had she been in the majority, Bennett would have reduced the sentence to nine years.