A man who was pointing a gun at a fellow drug dealer when it went off and the bullet grazed the woman’s cheek was sentenced to 22 months in prison on Friday.
Salah Reshid Hussain, 27, pleaded guilty to charges of aggravated assault and using a firearm to commit an offence in Red Deer provincial court. A charge of attempted murder was dropped.
Crown prosecutor Robin Joudrey said police were called after a woman found a bullet hole in the wall of her apartment at 5120 62nd Street on May 25, 2007. The bullet ended up wedged in a bedroom wall.
After police investigated they found out a man, Hussain, also known as Mad Max, had been next door and was recruiting a woman to be a drug dealer. She was sent out several times over a period of hours with steadily increasing amounts of cocaine to sell. On her last deal, her money and drugs were stolen.
An angry Hussain refused to let the woman leave the apartment and threatened her by taking bullets out of a pistol and pulling the trigger. At one point, he pulled the trigger and the gun went off. A bullet grazed the woman’s head and went though the wall into the neighbouring suite. Both Hussain and the woman fled.
Joudrey said there were a number of “frailties” in the Crown’s case, including a photo line-up identification that was flawed. Also, other witnesses in the apartment were not co-operative with police.
A joint submission was made with defence lawyer John MacNaughton calling for 10 months for the aggravated assault and 12 months for the weapons charge.
MacNaughton said his client had immigrated from Ethiopia in 2003 and was living in Calgary with his brother when he was arrested.
He has been in custody since October 2009. He intends to return to Calgary to live with his brother and work in a glass business, where he previously held a job.
Mitchell accepted the joint sentence submission of 22 months, which will be satisfied by time spent in prison on a two-for-one calculation.
Hussain was also put on probation for one year, given a lifetime firearms prohibition and ordered to provide a DNA sample to a national database.
He is also barred from returning to Red Deer.