A Yarmouth man has been charged with attempted murder and other charges following an alleged shooting that occurred on March 26.
Ian Matthew Huskins, 37, is charged with attempted murder with a firearm. He is also charged with discharging a firearm with intent; careless use of a firearm and possession of a weapon dangerous to the public.
Huskins is in custody. He was taken to Yarmouth Provincial Court on March 28 and is scheduled to return to court on April 9. He surrendered to members of the RCMP’s Emergency Response Team on Wednesday morning, March 27, around 9 a.m. at a residence on the Main Shore Road in Yarmouth County.
This isn’t the first time Huskins has been charged with a serious offence. In July 2009 he was charged with first-degree murder in the death of Yarmouth resident Neil Joseph Blades Jr. In December 2010 a jury found him not guilty following a six-day trial.
The incident leading to these most recent charges unfolded on Tuesday, March 26.
According to the RCMP, at 7:30 p.m. on March 26, a 34-year-old man was shot by another man. Police located a truck believed to have been involved in the incident in a ditch area off Greenville Road in Hebron. The RCMP say the suspect fled the scene and the victim ran to a nearby residence for help.
The victim was transported to the QE11 hospital where he received medical treatment. The RCMP have not released specifics about his injuries.
In a media release the RCMP say a police dog team was called in Tuesday evening to attempt to track the suspect but no one was located. The RCMP say they did locate evidence near a home, which assisted police in locating a suspect inside a home on Main Shore Road where the Emergency Response Team assisted with the arrest the following morning.
Throughout the day on Wednesday, March 27, the RCMP had sections of the Greenville Road and Main Shore Road blocked to traffic as the investigation was carried out. After his arrest Huskins was taken to the Yarmouth Rural RCMP detachment and held in custody until the charges were laid and he was taken to court.
The RCMP say a second person, a 41-year-old woman from Hebron, was also arrested and is facing the charges of obstruction and resisting arrest. She was released on conditions by police and is scheduled to appear in Yarmouth Provincial Court on May 13. At the time this story was written her name had not been released by the RCMP because the charges had not yet been filed with the court.
The investigation into this incident is ongoing and is being conducted by the RCMP Southwest Nova Major Crimes Unit with assistance from Yarmouth Rural and Town RCMP.
Growing up Huskins was a talented athlete in baseball and hockey. On the ice he caught the eye of the Mustangs major midget hockey team in Bridgewater. When he was younger, baseball had been his thing. In one particular tournament he was named the tournament MVP, top pitcher and top hitter. But he has a lengthy police record dating back to when he was a young adult. He faced drug charges, court breaches and other offences. In November 2004 he was at large for two weeks after charges were laid against him in connection with a robbery while he was on parole. He eventually turned himself in.
He once committed an aggravated assault on an RCMP officer at the correctional centre in Yarmouth. The court was told at his sentencing that the officer was attempting to put handcuffs on Huskins when he lashed out, striking the Mountie in the face with his fist and causing him to temporarily lose consciousness. The officer testified when he came to he found Huskins trying to remove his service revolver from his holster. During a struggle the officer received more blows. A bullet was fired that struck the concrete floor. At his sentencing Huskins’ lawyer maintained his client was not attempting to grab the revolver. Huskins did admit to striking the officer about 10 times. He was sentenced to three-and-a-half years on this and other charges.
As mentioned in July 2009, Huskins was charged with first-degree. The charge was laid on July 20, 2009, and a warrant was issued that day for his arrest. Huskins turned himself into police on Aug. 4 in Halifax. Over a year later on Dec. 3, 2010, a jury acquitted Huskins of the charge. He was 29 at the time.
No one was ever convicted of the murder. The defence theory presented to the jury was that it was Jermaine Middleton of Yarmouth, not Huskins, who had carried out the murder. In her charge to the jury during Huskins’ trial, Justice Heather Robertson reminded jurors that was a defence theory and not evidence in the trial.
Middleton did receive a three-year sentence after pleading guilty to the charge of accessory to murder after the fact. The Crown had dropped the charge of first-degree murder against him saying there was no evidence to support a likelihood of conviction.