File photo by ADVOCATE staff Lyndon Olsen was sentenced to 4 1/2 years in prison Friday after pleading guilty to criminal negligence causing death with a firearm. He accidentally shot a woman and then crashed this pickup as he rushed her to hospital Feb. 1, 2017.

Red Deer man sentenced to 4 1/2 years for fatal shooting

Mother-of-two was killed when a rifle in a sports bag accidentally went off in February 2017

A Red Deer man whose sawed-off rifle went off accidentally killing a mother-of-two was sentenced to 4 1/2 years in prison Friday.

Lyndon Olsen, 35, had earlier pleaded guilty to criminal negligence causing death using a firearm after Randee Lynn Stewart, 25, was shot and killed in Red Deer on the morning of Feb. 1, 2017.

Stewart was killed by a single gunshot wound when a rifle in a sports bag went off as Olsen tossed it into a pickup she was sitting in outside a townhouse complex near 54th Avenue and 43rd Street.

Video from a surveillance camera showed Olsen and Stewart had gone to a nearby townhouse moments before. Olsen pulled out a pellet gun several times, eventually shooting out a surveillance camera outside the townhouse door. He was also recorded taking out a sawed-off rifle and pointing it at the door although he did not fire.

Crown prosecutor Dominique Mathurin said Stewart was hit by a single bullet in the right chest.

Mathurin said Olsen drove the pickup in a “hurried and speedy fashion” to nearby Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre but lost control on the hill below the hospital and slammed into a light standard shorty after 6 a.m.

He ran to the hospital’s emergency department and told them of the crash and that Stewart had been shot before running off.

Fire-medics found Stewart lying in the passenger seat. She was not breathing and had no pulse.

Mathurin asked for a sentence in the high range of four to six years.

Olsen, who has been in custody since his arrest Feb. 6, 2017, has 106 prior criminal convictions dating back to his youth.

Defence lawyer Maurice Collard said the minimum allowable sentence of four years is appropriate for his client, who is remorseful, takes full responsibility for what happened and never intended to harm Stewart.

Collard showed the court the sports bag with a small bullet hole in one end created when the rifle inside went off.

“This is a case where chance played a big role in death,” he said.

Standing in the prisoner’s dock, Olsen expressed his sorrow for Stewart’s death.

“I still struggle every day with what I put you guys through,” said Olsen, who is Métis and held a feather throughout his court appearance.

“I never meant any harm to your daughter. I never would hurt her.”

Stewart’s parents, Dean and Brenda Stewart, and other family members read heartbreaking victim impact statements in court, telling the judge that Stewart’s two-year-old son and four-year-old daughter will grow up without their mother.

The family’s pain is “beyond words,” said Brenda.

“My heart is broken. I will never see my beautiful daughter again,” she said, her voice breaking with emotion. “She was so young. Our time together so short.”

Dean remembered Randee as a fun-loving and sweet young mother with a great sense of humour. She was always the first to be his ally when he was the victim of family teasing.

“Part of me died when I lost my daughter.”

Aunt Ann Plunkett said Randee’s children will constantly face questions about where their mother is as they grow up.

“How are we supposed to answer this? The truth is so painful.”

In sentencing, Justice Eldon Simpson said the video showed when Olsen was outside the townhouse armed with the gun he was acting in an “arrogant, aggressive and defiant manner.”

By throwing a loaded rifle into a bag, which he noted Olsen kept pointed away from himself, he was putting everyone at risk.

Simpson said he took into account Olsen’s guilty plea and a “horrifying” childhood, which included a broken home, stays in foster homes, abusive adults and drug and alcohol abuse. A brother was stabbed to death in 2005.

“You had a lousy start without a doubt, but you’ve now seen the terrible result of the decisions you made.”

Olsen was given credit for 23 months and 10 days in custody using a formula of a 1.5 days credit per day, leaving him with 30 months and 20 days to serve. He was also given a lifetime weapons prohibition and must surrender a sample of his DNA to a national database.



pcowley@reddeeradvocate.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

WATCH: Central Albertans learn about farm life at Sunnybrook Farm Museum

Pioneer Days Festival in Red Deer Saturday-Sunday

Raising awareness for Bikers Against Child Abuse

Second annual Raise A Ruckus Against Child Abuse was held at the Red Deer Radisson Hotel Saturday

Number of seniors who play bridge in Red Deer growing

Red Deer Bridge Club has been around for close to 60 years

Central Alberta Yogathon cancelled Saturday

Due to air quality concerns the fourth annual event will take place Sept. 15

Update: Buccaneers win 38-13 in final home game

Bucs off to the finals with the win

WATCH: Medicine River Wildlife Centre opens new playground

The grand opening of the playground was Saturday morning

Ottawa announces $189M to extend employment insurance for seasonal workers

ESCUMINAC, N.B. — Ottawa has announced $189 million for an employment insurance… Continue reading

Trudeau formally announces he’ll run again in next year’s election

MONTREAL — Justin Trudeau will run again in the 2019 federal election.… Continue reading

Smoke from B.C. wildfires prompts air quality advisories across Western Canada

VANCOUVER — More smoky, hazy air is expected to blanket much of… Continue reading

Anti-pipeline protesters released days before weeklong jail sentences end

MAPLE RIDGE, B.C. — Several pipeline protesters were released from a British… Continue reading

All eyes on Andrew Scheer as Conservative convention set for Halifax

OTTAWA — After a week of internal caucus squabbles, Conservative Leader Andrew… Continue reading

Trump says his White House counsel not a ‘RAT’ like Nixon’s

BRIDGEWATER, N.J. — President Donald Trump insisted Sunday that his White House… Continue reading

Wildfire moves closer to Glacier National Park’s scenic road

MISSOULA, Mont. — A wildfire in Montana’s Glacier National Park is forcing… Continue reading

Prime Minister Trudeau, Premier Couillard march in Montreal’s Pride parade

MONTREAL — Thousands of cheering spectators lined the streets of Montreal on… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month