A man serving 11 years in jail failed to have his sentence reduced in connection to the shooting one man and pistol-whipping of another during an attempted marijuana grow rip in rural Walnut Grove in 2014.
On April 13, five judges from the B.C. Court of Appeal dismissed Christopher Agin’s appeal, explaining that 11 years wasn’t out of the norm for the crimes committed.
Agin, 33, pleaded guilty to using a prohibited firearm to commit a robbery, discharging a prohibited firearm with intent to wound, maim or disfigure, and aggravated assault.
Agin and his girlfriend were under police surveillance on the day the crimes were committed, March 16, 2014.
Agin was observed leaving an address in Surrey in a Cadillac with Rosemary Souriyavong, the driver who was seen driving to the rural property on Telegraph Trail, and an unidentified male.
At the time of the attempted robbery, the operator of the grow op, who was in the barn, got a call from one of his employees.
He lifted a bar he kept across the door of the outbuilding to prevent others from entering, opened the door and saw two men. One was Mr. Agin, who yelled “get down” as he struck the grow operator twice on the head with a handgun, it was reported in the B.C. Court of Appeal’s decision.
Agin then entered the outbuilding while the grow owner used the bar to defend himself from the other man who, after a short scuffle, ran away.
Agin ran into one of the growing rooms where three other employees were working. He pointed the gun at one of them and told everyone to get down. One of them noticed a red lazer dot on his body from the gun, interpreted this to mean Mr. Agin had an electric stun gun, and ran at Agin.
That’s when Agin shot him in the leg. Agin then exited the building and shot at the property owner who was about 20 metres away, next to his truck. The bullet hit the truck and shattered a window. Mr. Agin ran from the property, according to the court documents.
Agin was arrested about an hour later in the backyard of a home in Langley. Under a tree in the backyard of a home nearby, the police located a Glock 9mm handgun, loaded with a magazine containing four cartridges and one in the chamber. Nearby they found an empty nylon shoulder holster containing a fully loaded magazine with 14 cartridges. The gun was a prohibited firearm with a laser aiming mechanism. The magazines were prohibited devices. Agin’s blood was found on the gun and a forensic analysis demonstrated it was the same gun used in the shootings.
Both before and after the attempted robbery, Mr. Agin exchanged text messages and phone calls with Souriyavong and his girlfriend that were intercepted by the police, the courts learned.
Souriyavong was charged with similar offences to Agin but pleaded guilty to break and enter in 2016 and received 90 days in jail and 18 months probation.
In his appeal, Agin didn’t assert that the sentence imposed is demonstrably unfit. He said the judge erred in principle by “equating” his offences with a “home invasion” and he ought to have used the “sentencing model” applicable to commercial robberies.
Agin requested that his appeal be heard by a division of five justices.
Agin, who has a lengthy criminal record with 48 prior convictions, was on parole at the time.