EDMONTON – A man convicted of attempted murder for shooting his landlord in the face had his sentencing put off Thursday so he can recover from a partial leg amputation before going to prison. Kyle Valentine Ziegler was dressed in a white hospital gown and sat in a wheelchair next to his lawyer during a hearing Thursday. His right leg was bandaged where it had been cut off at the knee June 20 due to complications with Type 1 diabetes. Ziegler, 35, was convicted of shooting landlord Devin Schafers in the face with a flare gun altered to fire .38-calibre bullets on Sept. 14, 2012.
At the time of the shooting, Ziegler was a tenant in a bungalow where Schafers also lived. Court heard Ziegler owed his landlord $1,000 in overdue rent, and blamed Schafer for his pet cat’s disappearance. The cat came back after the shooting.
Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Wayne Renke also found Ziegler guilty of possession of a dangerous weapon and pointing a firearm without lawful excuse.
Crown prosecutor Keith Nicholls argued had Schafers died, this would have been a first-degree murder case, and recommended a sentence of 10 to 12 years.
“Mr. Ziegler attempted to kill Mr. Schafers with a firearm, and he only failed because he wasn’t as smart as he thought he was,” Nicholls said. Ziegler’s lawyer, Lionel Chartrand, stressed his client had no previous criminal record, and that he had been under significant emotional stress at the time of the shooting.
Zeigler’s physician, Dr. Douglas MacIver, told court his patient is on dialysis and suffers from problems with his eyesight and in his extremities, which has resulted in three amputations — including the most recent removal of his lower right leg.
MacIver said Ziegler’s current “poor” prognosis was the result of years of not properly managing his illness. He also expressed concern for the quality of medical care Ziegler would get in prison.
MacIver said he spoke to Ziegler’s nephrologist, who told him that Ziegler’s spot on a kidney transplant list is “on hold,” and that it seemed likely he would be dropped from the list, in part because of “ethical concerns.” MacIver also said Ziegler has already been taken off a list for pancreas transplant candidates.
Nicholls said MacIver has no experience or direct knowledge of prison medical facilities, and said the doctor’s information about the donation lists was secondhand.
Chartrand argued for a prison term of four years, and said his client’s sentencing should be delayed given his immediate medical needs after the amputation.
Renke agreed to delay sentencing, and reserved his decision until Aug. 21
By: PAIGE PARSONS