Man, 38, sentenced for parking lot killing at Nanaimo shopping mall

Man, 38, sentenced for parking lot killing at Nanaimo shopping mall

A 38-year-old man has been sentenced for killing another man with a knife in Nanaimo.

It was a brazen killing in the busy parking lot of Port Place Shopping Mall on Jan. 22, 2023. Initially charged with murder, Sean Patterson pleaded guilty to manslaughter 11 months later.

In an agreed statement of facts, the court heard Wednesday what led to the slashing.

Patterson and a friend had dinner at a nearby restaurant and had consumed alcohol and methamphetamine before they walked towards Port Place Mall. Patterson tried to enter the casino but didn’t want his bag searched.

He then headed out to the parking lot, where he went and talked with drug dealer Serguei Chiliakhov before suddenly slashing his throat with a knife.

Patterson told police that when he told Chiliakhov he had a knife, Chiliakov threatened to use it on him before Patterson could use it himself.

“As far as we know, it was an impulsive act where Mr. Patterson lashed out for some unknown reason, and unfortunately, that injury led to the death of Mr. Chiliakhov,” said Nick Barber, Crown counsel.

Chiliakhov ran to the entrance of the Medical Arts Clinic in the mall, which had closed an hour before. He asked bystanders to call 911 before he collapsed. Paramedics with BC Ambulance Service took him to Nanaimo Regional General Hospital, where he died.

Patterson, meanwhile, went home, changed clothes, and then went to a restaurant with a friend.

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While reviewing surveillance video, police soon identified Patterson as a suspect. When questioned at the police detachment, he confessed, even telling police he threw the knife along some nearby train tracks, which they then went and found.

In a submission agreed to by both crown and defence at the Nanaimo courthouse Wednesday, Patterson, who had no previous criminal record, was sentenced to seven years in prison for the killing. With credit for time served, it means he will serve five more years behind bars.

“It’s right smack dab in the middle of the range. Appropriate given the context of everything that occurred here, and it needs to be remembered that Mr. Patterson pled guilty, so that’s obviously a huge mitigating factor when someone takes responsibility,” said Barber.

When given the opportunity to address the court, Patterson apologized to Chiliakhov’s family, saying that if he “could take it back, he would.”

Patterson’s lawyer, Kelly Bradshaw, said he was fighting drug and alcohol addiction, and people who know the healthy Shawn still can’t believe this happened.

Bradshaw said Patterson was living in a shed on his mother’s Victoria Road property when the offence happened.

In handing down the sentence, Supreme Court Justice Douglas Thompson said this homicide happened suddenly and “it’s impossible to explain other than an outcome of illicit drug use coinciding with access to a deadly weapon.”

Kendall HansonKendall Hanson

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