Wanda Campbell, mother of Andrew McLean, who was shot to death in the Howard Johnson Harbourside Hotel lobby in 2017, holds a photo of McLean when he was a child. Campbell submitted a victim’s statement and watched video evidence of her son’s killing during the opening day of sentencing proceedings for Brandon Tyler Woody, who pleaded guilty to second-degree murder Feb. 15. CHRIS BUSH/The News Bulletin

Video of ‘shocking, chilling execution’ opens B.C. murder hearing

Sentencing underway for Brandon Woody after pleading guilty to second-degree murder in Nanaimo

A video monitor shows a man, wearing a black balaclava, walk up behind another man, raise a handgun and fire twice into his victim’s back. The victim falls to the floor and tries to cover his head as his assailant steps up, holds the gun close to the victim’s head, and fires two more rounds before he runs from the hotel lobby.

The video, only a few seconds long, was captured by a security camera in the Howard Johnson Harbourside Hotel lobby in Nanaimo on April 2017, when Brandon Tyler Woody fatally shot Andrew McLean.

Woody, arrested hours later in Duncan, was charged with first-degree murder in the shooting, witnessed by the hotel’s night clerk, but pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of second-degree murder Feb. 15.

The video footage was Exhibit No. 1 in the Crown’s argument against leniency on the first day of Woody’s sentencing proceedings in B.C. Supreme Court on Monday.

“The attack on the victim, as depicted on the surveillance video, is a brutal, shocking and chilling account of an execution killing carried out with remarkable precision,” said prosecutor Frank Dubenski. “The victim was unarmed, unsuspecting and in a vulnerable and helpless position. …

“Once the victim was on the ground, Woody showed no mercy. Even the presence of an innocent eyewitness gave Woody no pause in carrying out this mission.”

Dubenski told the court both men were involved with the drug trade in Nanaimo and Victoria, and the 34-year-old McLean was known for violence.

He recounted how, hours before the killing at the hotel, Woody entered a home on the 700 block of Haliburton Street wearing a balaclava and threatened several residents at gunpoint to coerce them into telling him McLean’s whereabouts.

According to Crown, Woody initially claimed in his defense that he did not personally know the victim, had only given a partial description of him, and didn’t know why someone wanted him dead other than he “goofed up.”

He claimed he was approached and offered a “ridiculous” amount of money to carry out the killing, which he turned down, Crown said, and if he said no again, the people who ordered the hit would go after his wife.

Woody also allegedly was contacted by phone by one unknown individual throughout the night leading up to the killing. The person gave him basic instructions, including which door of the hotel would be unlocked and that they wanted four shots and “was told at least two top, meaning in the head,” Dubenski said.

As for the handgun, Woody allegedly said he’d been given it for the shooting, and then after, gave it to a motorcyclist who was waiting near the Duke Point Highway turnoff and allegedly wearing Hell Angels colours.

Dubenski also noted an RCMP officer had stopped Woody on Terminal Avenue moments after the shooting, but let him go when the emergency call went out about the gunfire. It was not until shortly afterward that Woody was considered a likely suspect.

Paul McMurray, Woody’s defence counsel, did not dispute Dubenski’s presentation of facts.

Wanda Campbell, McLean’s mother, who had travelled from Alberta for the sentencing, saw the video of her son’s killing for the first time Sunday.

“Each day feels like I’m just going through the motions, walking in a haze,” Campbell wrote in her victim statement. “Mostly I feel empty and so much as Andrew is on my mind every minute of every day. I will never be able to forgive the person responsible for this brutal senseless crime.”

Sentencing proceedings are expected to continue until Wednesday.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Aimed at success – the launch hit the target

Prince Rupert teen Brendan Eshom launches educational software app that hits Apple’s “Top Charts”

Getting a head for cancer research

Prince Rupert Cops for Cancer want to flush away the illness with loads of donations for research

Provincial COVID-19 data can now be used for B.C. to prepare for a second wave

In the past week, B.C. has seen a slight spike in daily test-positive case counts

Four air ambulance flights out of Terrace delayed or cancelled

Pandemic precautions caused nighttime closure of service station providing weather data to pilots

Skeena Resources, Tahltan prez excited by purchase of Eskay Creek

Skeena gets full control of mine, Barrick gets 12 per cent of Skeena and a one per cent royalty

Recent surge in COVID-19 cases not unexpected amid Phase Three of reopening: B.C.’s top doc

Keep circles small, wear masks and be aware of symptoms, Dr. Bonnie Henry says

B.C. NDP changing WorkSafeBC regulations to respond to COVID-19

Employers say reclassifying coronavirus could be ‘ruinous’

Baby raccoon rescued from 10-foot deep drainage pipe on Vancouver Island

‘Its cries were loud, pitiful and heartbreaking,’ Saanich animal control officer says

Statistical flaws led to B.C. wolf cull which didn’t save endangered caribou as estimated

Study finds statistical flaws in an influential 2019 report supporting a wolf cull

Windows broken, racist graffiti left on Okanagan home

Family says nothing like this has happened since they moved to Summerland in 1980s

B.C. man who went by ‘Doctor Ray Gaglardi’ charged with sex assault of teenage boys

The man, 75, is accused of assaulting teenage boys he met through Coquitlam-area churches

B.C.’s potential deficit $12.5 billion as spending spikes, taxes drop

Finance Minister Carole James gives COVID-19 outlook

Canadians torn on scaling back COVID-19 benefits to save money: poll

Of those surveyed, 78 per cent said they were worried about the size of the deficit

‘Trauma equals addiction’: Why some seek solace in illicit drugs

Part 2: Many pushed into addiction by ‘toxic stress,’ says White Rock psychologist

Most Read