A man charged with the murder of Gordon Parmenter has also been charged with arson regarding the fire that struck the Parmenter family’s home in Broadview Mobile Villa on March 14. (File photo)

Man accused in fatal Shuswap church shooting also charged with arson

Parmenter family home badly damaged by fire a month before killing

One month to the day before Gordon Parmenter was fatally shot at the Salmon Arm Church of Christ, his family home was badly damaged by fire.

Matrix Gathergood, who stands charged with first degree murder as well as aggravated assault for the wounding of another member of the congregation, now faces one more charge – arson in relation to inhabited property.

It is alleged that on March 14 in Salmon Arm, Gathergood did “intentionally or recklessly cause damage by fire or explosion to property, a mobile home at 10-1361 30th Street SE, knowing or being reckless of the fact that the property was inhabited or occupied,” states a court document.

The shooting Gathergood is charged with took place on April 14.

At the time of the fire, the community rallied around Gord and Peggy Parmenter, raising funds for them. Emergency services also stepped in with support.

In an interview with the Observer after the fire, Gord said he had no idea who would bear ill will towards him and his wife. He said there was an active police investigation into the fire but that was all they knew.

Read more: Police calling fire at mobile park suspicious

Read more: Family uprooted by suspicious fire grateful for support

Read more: Crown seeks psychiatric assessment for accused in Salmon Arm church shooting

In Provincial Court in Salmon Arm on Nov. 19, Gathergood did not appear by video as he has in the past. Instead, a new date was set for Dec. 3 to give Crown counsel and the defence time to read a psychiatric report on the accused.

Judge Dennis Morgan, who had read the report, said Gathergood had been committed under the Mental Health Act. However, Crown and defence lawyers had not yet read the report as it had just arrived that morning so there was no discussion of it.

While Judge Morgan and Crown counsel Alison Buchanan both said they had expressed concerns over delays in the court proceedings in the past, Buchanan said she thought two weeks was a reasonable time given the completion of the report.

Morgan also said that now the report is finished, proceedings are moving along.

It was agreed that postponing the execution of a warrant on Gathergood for the new charge would not be an issue as he is already in custody.


@SalmonArm
marthawickett@saobserver.net

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