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

B.C. snap election: What we know about candidates running in the Nechako Lakes riding

Premier Horgan called for a snap election Monday, Sept. 21.

Manslaughter plea entered for 2012 death

Two others earlier pleaded guilty in murder of Fribjon Bjornson

Citing stability, B.C. Premier calls snap election for Oct. 24

John Horgan meets with Lieutenant Governor to request vote

Letter: Assume COVID is in your community; Act accordingly

Chief of Staff at St. John Hospital writes letter to residents of the Omineca region

Vanderhoof’s Anonymous Art Show aims to go Canada-wide next year

The Anonymous Art Show in it’s second year is gaining popularity across… Continue reading

B.C. reports 96 new COVID-19 cases, one hospital outbreak

61 people in hospital as summer ends with election

‘Unprecedented’ coalition demands end to B.C. salmon farms

First Nations, commercial fishermen among group calling for action on Cohen recommendations

Earthquake off coast of Washington recorded at 4.1 magnitude

The quake was recorded at a depth of 10 kilometres

B.C.’s top doctor says she’s received abuse, death threats during COVID-19 response

Henry has become a national figure during her time leading B.C.’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic

BC Liberals must change gears from election cynicism, focus on the issues: UBC professors

COVID-19 response and recovery is likely to dominate platforms

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

B.C. could be without a new leader for multiple weeks after Election Day: officials

More than 20K mail-in voting packages were requested within a day of B.C. election being called

Vancouver Island sailor stranded in U.S. hospital after suffering massive stroke at sea

Oak Bay man was attempting to circumnavigate the world solo

Majority needed to pass COVID-19 budget, B.C. premier says

John Horgan pushes urgent care centres in first campaign stop

Most Read