Newfoundland man who shot at gay brother-in-law will stay in jail while waiting for appeal

·2 min read
Harvey Murlin Price, shown here during his trial in 2021, was convicted on two counts of uttering threats and five weapons offences related to shots fired at a cabin in Hatchet Cove in 2018. He's now appealing his conviction. (Ryan Cooke/CBC - image credit)
Harvey Murlin Price, shown here during his trial in 2021, was convicted on two counts of uttering threats and five weapons offences related to shots fired at a cabin in Hatchet Cove in 2018. He's now appealing his conviction. (Ryan Cooke/CBC - image credit)

A Newfoundland man who fired a shotgun — and a string of homophobic slurs — at his brother-in-law and his partner will remain behind bars while he appeals his conviction.

Harvey Murlin Price was sentenced in March to 14 months for threatening and shooting at Edison Avery and his same-sex partner in 2018 in the rural town of Hatchet Cove, where Avery co-owned a cabin with Price's sister, Avery's former wife.

Price showed up at Avery's cabin the day he fired at the two men, threatening them and uttering homophobic slurs before grabbing a shotgun from the back of his truck.

He fired two shots as the men hit the ground, then got into his car and drove away.

Price, convicted of uttering threats and a slew of firearms-related charges, has served seven weeks of his sentence so far. He launched an appeal on the grounds that the judge in his trial should have let him apply for a mistrial and reopen his case.

A Supreme Court decision last week details those unsuccessful attempts to change the outcome of the trial.

Price argued in 2021 that a witness in his trial, the owner of a bed and breakfast that Avery and his partner took refuge in after the confrontation, should re-testify to tell the court she did not hear any gunshots.

The trial judge decided, however, that the witness's evidence wouldn't have affected the outcome of the case.

Eddy Kennedy/CBC
Eddy Kennedy/CBC

In his appeal, Price claims that the trial judge shouldn't have dismissed those attempts.

But Justice Lois Hoegg considers his arguments weak, which factored into her decision to keep Price in custody while he waits for his appeal to proceed.

"I am of the view that a thoughtful, informed and reasonable member of the public would see Mr. Price's release on bail … as an affront to the administration of justice," Hoegg wrote.

She also noted she had a "lingering concern about public safety given that his threats and actions toward the victims appear to have been a form of vigilante justice motivated by prejudice respecting sexual orientation."

Avery told CBC News last year that he believed Price was motivated by homophobia, not simply by discord within the family.

"In my mind it's attempted murder.… It's hate," Avery said at the time.

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