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Bragg given suspended sentence in connection to New Year’s shooting on Burin Peninsula

Francis Bragg speaks with lawyer Marcus Evans in this file photo.
Francis Bragg speaks with lawyer Marcus Evans in this file photo.

GRAND BANK, NL – Francis Bragg, 34, was back in provincial court in Grand Bank Wednesday for sentencing in relation to a New Year’s Eve shooting incident in Brookside.

Bragg was charged with unlawfully storing a firearm, unauthorized possession of firearm, and providing liquor to minors.

He received a suspended sentence and was placed on probation for 18 months.

Bragg was also charged with criminal negligence causing bodily harm, but the Crown later withdrew the charge.

The charges stemmed from a shooting that occurred in Brookside on Dec. 31, 2016. A 16-year-old male from the community was severely injured in the incident.

An agreed statement of facts presented to the court detailed the sequence of events on the night in question.

Two males, ages 16 and 17, were at the home of Francis Bragg in Brookside to celebrate the New Year.

During the evening Bragg took out three guns to prepare them to be fired to ring in the New Year.

“Francis Bragg said that close to midnight he got the shotgun shells and laid them on the coffee table,” said Allison Manning, counsel for the Crown. “He then proceeded to load a shell into the tube of the shotgun, laid it back on the love seat and left the room to get firewood.”

It was stated in court that Bragg and the victim were the only persons present in the living room when the firearm was loaded.

At this point the 17-year-old male had returned to the living room.

According to agreed-upon facts, a song came on and the 17-year-old male got up from his chair, picked up the shotgun and accidentally shot the 16-year-old male.

The 17-year-old male was charged with attempted murder; he later pled guilty to a lesser charge of criminal negligence causing bodily harm and was sentenced to two years probation.

He was also charged with pointing a firearm, careless use of a firearm, and breach of recognizance.

SEE RELATED:

http://www.southerngazette.ca/news/local/2017/6/6/mother-of-burin-peninsula-youth-shot-on-new-years-eve-angered-by.html

http://www.southerngazette.ca/news/local/2017/1/18/bay-l_argent-youth-pleads-not-guilty-in-new-years-eve-shooting.html

http://www.southerngazette.ca/news/local/2017/5/26/brookside-man-enters-plea-in-new-years-eve-shooting-case.html

The victim was transported by ambulance to the Burin Peninsula Health Care Centre with a gunshot wound to his upper right chest.

He arrived at the hospital at 12:46 a.m. A chest tube was inserted to allow drainage from his wound. Early on the morning of Jan. 1, 2017, a flight team arrived to transport him by air ambulance to the Health Sciences Centre in St. John’s. He underwent surgery to remove his right lung, which was damaged by the shotgun pellets.

He was incubated and sedated, and remained on a ventilator until Jan. 11, when the breathing tube was removed. He was discharged from hospital Jan. 18, with follow up visits to community health for treatment of his wounds.       

Bragg was also charged with criminal negligence causing bodily harm, but counsel for the Crown withdrew the charge.

As conditions of his probation, Bragg must not consume alcohol or any other intoxicating substance, and must not be in possession of alcohol, except for purposes of his employment.

Judge Harold Porter acknowledged Bragg has not consumed alcohol since the night of the offense.

“The reason I am including those conditions in a probation order is that I think the risk – and this is about risk management – of a repeat of this type of offence will be minimized, or at least reduced if Mr. Bragg is sober,” explained Judge Porter. “I suspect that his level of intoxication played a large role in his neglect in terms of leaving the loaded shot gun where he did on the night in question.”

Along with a firearms’ probation of 10 years, Bragg must forfeit the firearm, ammunition, and ammunition clip used in the offence.

He has also been ordered not have contact with the 18-year-old male who was also charged in relation to the offence.

A $300-fine, plus any associated surcharge fees, was imposed for violations under the liquor control act for providing liquor to the victim.

No orders were made prohibiting Bragg from having contact with the victim. 

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