Trial begins for Alberta teen charged in shooting of German tourist
The German tourist shot in the head on an Alberta highway last summer is partially paralyzed and has speech and memory issues, a Calgary courtroom heard Monday at the start of the trial for a 17-year-old charged in the shooting.
Crown prosecutor Dane Rolfe read an agreed statement of facts, saying Horst Stewin was shot on the left side of his head and had eight bullet fragments removed from his brain.
“His prognosis for a full recovery is guarded at best,” said Rolfe.
The accused, from the Stoney Nakoda First Nation west of Calgary, cannot be named because of his age.
He is facing five charges including recklessly discharging a firearm with intent to wound, aggravated assault and assault.
The teen was originally charged with attempted murder but the Crown dropped that charge months ago because there was no reasonable likelihood of a conviction.
Stewin, who was 60 at the time, was driving a Dodge Durango with his family near Morley on Aug. 2, 2018 when the shooting happened.
Stewin was airlifted to the Foothills hospital then returned home to Germany several weeks after the incident.
Court heard, Stewin is paralyzed on his right side. He gets confused and has memory issues. He undergoes therapy several times a week.
The first witness to testify Monday was a passenger in the vehicle with the accused and was very reluctant to take the stand.
At first, the 23-year-old said she was sitting right beside the accused and said another passenger told him to shoot.
But during cross-examination, she told defence lawyer Balfour Der she never saw the accused touch the gun, she then testified again that he did indeed pull the trigger.
The trial by judge alone is scheduled to last a week.