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B.C. man pleads guilty to northern Ont. shooting, Crown drops attempted murder charge

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A man who admitted to shooting up a home in Greater Sudbury in 2020 over a drug theft pled guilty Wednesday to reduced charges.

Adrian Eppinger, 33, originally faced eight charges, including attempted murder, conspiracy to commit murder and aggravated assault.

Wednesday in a Zoom hearing, Eppinger pled guilty to three charges, including one count each of conspiracy to commit aggravated assault, illegal possession of a firearm and simple assault.

Court heard that associates of Eppinger were selling cannabis and using a Sudbury residence to store their product. When about $75,000 in cannabis was stolen, they blamed a Val Caron man.

Eppinger’s associates threatened the man, warning that ‘Superman’ was coming to exact revenge. ‘Superman’ was an alias linked to Eppinger.

“Bro, you can’t deny it forever,” the victim was told.

“Stay away from anyone you care about. We’ll find you, buddy.”

Assistant Crown attorney Kaely Whillans read an agreed statement of facts into the record during the online hearing Wednesday.

Eppinger flew to Toronto from Kelowna, B.C., on April 18, 2020, was picked up and driven to Sudbury.

On April 19, he stayed at a Lorne Street motel. Police tracked his movements after the fact using the GPS tracker in the Ford Fusion his accomplice was driving, as well as cellphone records.

Eppinger’s phone was detected in Garson at 8:20 p.m. on April 19, and on Radar Road at 8:39, just 12 kilometres from the victim’s home.

The phone is tracked at various locations in the city until 3:53 a.m. April 20, when the Ford Fusion is just three kilometres from the victim’s home.

Eppinger got out of the passenger seat and into the back seat just before 4 a.m., firing five shots into the bedroom of the residence, where the victim, his wife and infant child were sleeping. No one was injured.

“Mr. Eppinger fired shots into the home,” Whillans said.

The Ford Fusion made three or four passes outside the home after the shooting and the vehicle then returned to Garson.

In Garson, Eppinger got into another vehicle – a Ford Escape -- drove straight to Milton, Ont., and checked into a hotel. He spent the night and flew back to B.C. the next morning.

He was arrested by the RCMP in Kelowna in February 2021.

Before she pronounced him guilty, Justice Kathleen Cullin asked Eppinger if he had anything to say.

“I have nothing to add, your honour,” he replied.

Cullin formally found him guilty of the three charges. A sentencing date will be set at a hearing April 4. 

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