Christopher Hermkens has been found guilty of first-degree murder in the April 2019 killing in Lloydminster, Alta., of Raymond Dumont.
Hermkens, who is also known by the street name Cage, is automatically sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for 25 years.
Edmonton Court of Queen's Bench Justice Wayne Renke found that Hermkens was a contract killer who had never met his 32-year-old victim.
Hermkens was hired by two of Dumont's rival drug dealers in the border city. The judge found he was offered $105,000 to complete the job, but only collected $15,000 after the killing.
Renke also found that the killing was planned and deliberate.
"There was nothing spontaneous or impulsive about what occurred," Renke said.
After Hermkens agreed to take the job, he obtained a phone, stolen vehicle and firearms to carry out his mission. Since Dumont was a stranger to him, Hermkens called on his friend Mark Moran to identify the victim.
On the day of the murder, Moran drove up to Dumont and his girlfriend near Dumont's home.
Dumont's girlfriend heard the words, "Is this him?" She saw Moran nod, then a shadow appeared outside her passenger door.
Hermkens, armed with an assault-style rifle, fired 12 shots within a few seconds into Dumont's vehicle. Dumont was shot in the head and his girlfriend was injured by shrapnel. Dumont died with his foot on the gas pedal and his vehicle crashed into a nearby school.
Hermkens raced from the scene in Lloydminster and, just outside Sherwood Park, east of Edmonton, set fire to the stolen vehicle. Renke found he did so in an attempt to destroy evidence.
Hermkens was arrested and held in custody at the Edmonton Remand Centre, where he was recorded during a telephone call saying, "I got him, this woman. Pretty sure I got the kid too."
The judge found there were also numerous instances of Hermkens asking witnesses not to testify.
Hermkens' co-accused, Mark Moran, will likely go to trial in the spring of 2023.
'Put a price tag on human life'
Dumont's girlfriend said she still has nightmares about the shooting.
"Seeing Ray die like that really affected me," Chelsey Hart wrote in a victim impact statement. "My family was scared for theirs and my own safety. They are still scared to this day."
Hart said she was evicted after the shooting and no longer felt safe living in Lloydminster. For a time her son was apprehended by Children's Services because they didn't think he'd be safe with her.
She said she's worried if Dumont gets out of prison, he'll come after her and her family.
The victims mother, Dorothy Dumont, said she's never felt so angry.
My son's fate was left in the hands of irresponsible, heartless and cold individuals who had the audacity to put a price tag on human life," she wrote in her victim impact statement.
"Greed, selfishness, jealousy and entitlement was the dangerous combination that ended my son's life that night."
Before he was led away by sheriffs, Hermkens cried quietly in the prisoner's box while an unidentified woman in the gallery sobbed loudly.
"This is a grim day for everyone," Renke said.