To say Taylor King and his family have been profoundly affected by Brandon Coady's actions one February night two years ago would be an understatement, a Newfoundland and Labrador Supreme Court judge said Monday.
Coady, now 24, had consumed half of a 26er of liquor and smoked a joint before deciding to pay a visit to his on-again, off-again girlfriend at her home in St. John's. It was around 3 a.m. and Coady later told police he wanted to surprise her. They were not a couple at the time.
Coady entered the woman's apartment and found her in bed with King, whom he didn't know. Coady kicked King in the head and stabbed him multiple times with a knife in the chest, arm and leg, telling him, "You're going to bleed out tonight, buddy." When the woman tried to intervene, Coady told her, "This is happening because of you."
A neighbour heard the commotion and called 911, and Coady answered the door when two RNC officers arrived and knocked. The officers noticed blood on Coady's hands and subsequently found a large knife in his pocket.
Inside the apartment, King emerged from the bedroom, seriously injured and bleeding. One of the police officers, a former paramedic, noted King was shaking and having trouble breathing, and feared he was going into shock; he radioed for an ambulance and used the first aid kid from his vehicle to tend to King's injuries until it arrived.
In the meantime, Coady told the other officer, "I'm the bad guy here. I stabbed him."
Later, Coady gave a statement to police, telling them he hadn't had a plan to kill anyone when he decided to go to the woman's home, and hadn't been aware anyone else was there. He said he had been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder weeks earlier, and his medication seemed to be making him more emotional than usual.
Justice Vikas Khaladkar sentenced Coady to six years behind bars for attempted murder, accepting a joint submission on sentencing put forth last week by the Crown and defence lawyers.
"The only worse outcome would have been if Mr. King had died as a result of his injuries," Khaladkar said, adding that could have been the case had it not been for the medical training of the RNC officer.
King required multiple blood transfusions and surgeries, and has yet to regain full function in one of his arms. He later moved away, started a new career and fathered a little girl.
"He will bear the physical and psychological trauma of an unprovoked attack for the rest of his life," Khaladkar said of King, who submitted a victim impact statement to the court, as did his parents. "He will be unable to participate in many of the activities, such as skateboarding, that he once enjoyed. He will have some difficulty raising his daughter because of the physical infirmities that he must now contend with."
Coady had been set to go to trial on charges of attempted murder, aggravated assault, uttering threats, and breaking and entering, but made a plea deal. He was convicted of the attempted murder charge, and prosecutor Jeff Summers withdrew the others.
The judge revealed Summers and defence lawyer Randy Piercey both had challenges with their cases. On one side, Coady's ex-girlfriend did not want to testify at the trial. On the other, a pharmaceutical report indicated Coady's newly prescribed medication may have caused him to have homicidal thoughts, but there may not have been enough evidence to prove he was not criminally responsible for his actions.
Khaladkar said Coady has no previous criminal record, and hadn't breached his conditions since he was released on bail. Coady has been seeking counselling and is employed full time at the St. John's shipyard. The judge referenced a letter from Coady's union, describing Coady as a dependable worker.
"Mr. Coady apologized to Mr. King and his family and stated that he was deeply sorry about what had happened. He broke down on the stand while giving his apology and I believe that he is truly remorseful," Khaladkar said.
In addition to the six-year prison sentence, Khaladkar banned Coady from having contact with his ex-girlfriend, as well as King and his family. He ordered Coady to submit a DNA sample and banned him from possessing weapons.
Attempted murder suspect remains in custody