BRITISH COLUMBIA

B.C. man convicted in 1999 murder must wait longer to be sentenced

04/15/2014 01:13 EDT | Updated 06/15/2014 05:59 EDT
KAMLOOPS, B.C. - A man convicted in a murder dating back nearly 15 years will have to wait a few more weeks to find out how long he’ll spend behind bars.

Rob Smith, 46, was found guilty last month of one count each of manslaughter and interfering with a dead body stemming from the December 1999 death of Sandy Charlie in Lytton, B.C.

Charlie was 48 when he went missing. Smith was suspected in his disappearance as early as 2007 but police did not have enough evidence to make an arrest.

That changed on Sept. 12, 2011, when an excavator doing work on Crown land near Lytton accidentally unearthed Charlie’s remains. Months later, RCMP launched a sting targeting Smith.

The four-month operation culminated in a videotaped confession in August 2012. Smith was arrested a few days later and has been in custody ever since.

During Smith’s trial in B.C. Supreme Court, the jury watched the videotaped confession of Smith describing the night of Charlie’s death to an undercover Mountie posing as a gang leader.

“I ended up killing somebody and I just dug a hole and put him in it,” Smith said in the video.

In the video, Smith said he beat Charlie into unconsciousness because he was upset with him for co-operating with police on a domestic-assault allegation for which Smith was arrested in April 1999.

Smith told the jury he knocked out Charlie but did not kill him. He said Charlie left after being punched.

He was supposed to be sentenced Monday but his pre-sentence report has not been completed.

Smith is now scheduled to return to court on May 5 to set a date for sentencing. (Kamloops This Week)