Man convicted of first-degree murder related to Langford shooting in 2020

Man convicted of first-degree murder related to Langford shooting in 2020

A Greater Victoria man has been convicted of the planned and deliberate murder of Alex Knatchbell in January 2020.

In a very thorough decision, a judge found that Damien Medwedrich was the one who’d helped lure Knatchbell to a secluded area along Humpback Road, and executed a “calculated plan” to kill Knatchbell on Jan. 20, 2020. Medwedrich plead not guilty to a judge-alone trial.

“He said granny, ‘I love you to the sky and back,’ and that’s the last thing he ever said,” Knatchbell’s grandmother told CHEK News through tears Friday, saying she was the last person he ever spoke to.

Knatchbell was found gunned down on the side of the road in Langford, his body riddled with 12 bullets. His family cried tears of relief on Friday outside the Victoria courthouse, thanking investigators and Crown lawyers for their efforts in making sure justice was served.

“He was the best big brother anyone could ask for, and I’m just so filled with relief today, with the verdict,” said Knatchbell’s sister, Katarina Chalifour.

A motive remains unclear, but testimony points towards both Medwedrich and Knatchbell being drug dealers.

“It’s really unfortunate that he got involved in the lifestyle that he did, and we weren’t aware of it as a family. He tried to protect us. I feel like he got trapped in this world,” said Knatchbell’s mom, Cheryl Chalifour.

Medwedrich has several prior convictions of drug trafficking, possessing an unauthorized firearm, possessing a firearm without a licence or registration, and possession of firearm contrary to order.

Knatcbell’s first-degree murder trial centred around the testimony of an accomplice. The one man who was at the murder scene, a protected witness, whose testimony the judge deemed upon conviction as “extensively unreliable,” who intentionally minimized what unfolded that evening, and whose evidence “defies logic”.

It was through text messages, and a video that the protected witness recorded that the judge was able to prove and corroborate Medwedrich’s guilt and planning.

“Going to have to go on the run bro, that kid might sn[i]tch me out.,” read a text Medwedrich sent.

On the surreptitiously recorded video which was played in court, Medwedrich can be heard saying “I did it and then he crashed into the tree,” before saying, “It’s done.”

Also pointing towards Medwedrich’s guilt, the judge said, was the fact that he hid and kept the gun. Medwedrich was arrested in Prince George 10 days after he killed Knatchbell, the murder weapon in hand.

First-degree murder comes with mandatory sentence of life in prison. A future sentencing date will determine how long he has before he can apply for parole.

“It’s never going to bring him back but there’s faith that there’s justice in this world,” said Cheryl.


Kori SidawayKori Sidaway

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