Emotions were running high at Dartmouth provincial court on Thursday when two young men charged with first-degree murder in the shooting death of Donald Chad Smith made brief appearances.
Halifax Regional Police say Smith, a pizza delivery driver, was was killed in 2010 over a previous dispute with two men.
“We do believe the victim was lured to the location where he was shot,” said police spokesman Const. Pierre Bourdages.
On Thursday, both 21-year-old men appeared in a Dartmouth courtroom to face murder charges.
Randy Desmond Riley of Dartmouth and Nathan Tremain Johnson of Cherry Brook were quiet during their brief appearances.
Three years ago, Smith was found shot outside an apartment complex on Joseph Young Street in Dartmouth’s Highfield Park just before 9:30 p.m. on Oct. 23, 2010.
“We do not believe this to be a random act, and it was not drug related,” Bourdages said.
Smith, a father of two from Windsor Junction, had started delivering pizzas for a local restaurant a few days before his death.
At the time of the shooting, police said the pizza was ordered from a payphone on Highfield Park Drive.
Police also stated Smith was shot before he made the delivery.
Smith’s mother and brother were in court Thursday, and sat quietly during the appearances of the accused.
After they left the courtroom, Smith’s mother broke down into sobs and was taken into a separate room.
Another woman using a cane was rocking back and forth as she watched Riley and Johnson walk into court.
Upon leaving, she shouted at a TV cameraman and hit him with her cane. She then shakily tried to keep walking before sinking to the ground and crying.
Bourdages said he could not give any details about what led to the arrests in this case, nearly three years after the shooting.
“It was a very complex and lengthy investigation,” he said. “We arrested them when we were in a position to do so.”
Riley and Johnson will remain in custody until their next court appearance on Aug. 27.
Crown attorney Perry Borden said dates for a preliminary inquiry could be set at that time, or the defence could go through Supreme Court to apply for a bail hearing.