A man convicted of attempted murder and other charges after a drive-by shooting three and a half years ago had his appeals of those convictions dismissed.
Armaan Singh Chandi, who was the front-seat passenger in a car from which multiple shots were fired into a vehicle on Wakesiah Avenue in March 2016, was convicted of attempted murder, intentionally and recklessly discharging a firearm, being masked with the intent to commit an indictable offence, dangerous driving, and failing to stop for a peace officer. The Court of Appeal for British Columbia dismissed Chandi’s appeals to three of those convictions in a judgment published today, Nov. 9.
Multiple rounds were fired into two parked cars, but none of the shots hit the foreign student attending school in Nanaimo who was mistakenly identified as the intended target, according to court documents. A police chase ensued and Chandi was arrested with accomplice Inderpal Singh Aujla when the chase ended in Duncan.
Chandi was found guilty of the five charges and sentenced to nine years in prison in May 2019 by Judge Robin Baird in B.C. Supreme Court in Nanaimo.
He appealed his convictions for attempted murder, dangerous driving and failing to stop for police, which were heard by Justice Joyce DeWitt‑Van Oosten in the court of appeal in Victoria Oct. 6. Chandi contended the verdicts were unreasonable.
Regarding the attempted murder conviction, Chandi submitted the evidence provided could not support the a finding that, at the time of the shooting, he knew the shots would be fired with intent to kill. As per the dangerous driving and failing to stop for police convictions, he appealed that as the passenger, he could not have anticipated how the car would be driven following the incident.
On both points, DeWitt‑Van Oosten agreed with Baird’s findings that both men were involved in a joint plan and shared plan to kill their intended target and escape undetected. She said the appellant’s claim of an unreasonable verdict was without merit.
“The evidence … provided a compelling basis from which to conclude that the appellant and his co‑accused travelled together to Vancouver Island for the purpose of carrying out a targeted murder and, working together, they knowingly took steps to execute that plan…” the judgment notes. “Based on the evidence, the trial judge was of the view that any suggestion the appellant was something other than a full participant in a plan to kill was ‘imaginary or frivolous.’”
In closing, DeWitt‑Van Oosten said Baird’s conclusions “reveal a logical connection between the evidence, the law on party liability in the attempted murder context, and the conviction for that offence.”