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Clay Reeves pleads guilty after two trials

An Abbotsford man who has been through two trials on an attempted murder charge was sentenced Wednesday to seven years in jail.

Clay Reeves was given credit for the six years and two months he has already served. He pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of aggravated assault, as well as to using a gun to cause bodily harm with intent.

Reeves, 46, was facing a potential third trial, but entered the guilty plea last month in Supreme Court in Chilliwack.

He was found guilty in December 2008 of the attempted murder of John Baird. He was sentenced to 16 years, but was given double credit for time already served, leaving him with 12 years in prison.

Baird was found in the 33900 block of McConnell Road in Abbotsford on Jan. 15, 2008, after police received reports of gunshots and a man screaming. Baird had been shot six times, suffering wounds to his abdomen, arms, legs and wrist.

Testimony at the first trial revealed both Reeves and Baird were involved with drugs, and the victim owed Reeves between $100 and $150. Reeves never admitted to shooting Baird, and the weapon involved was never recovered.

A decision issued by the B.C. Court of Appeal in February of last year found the judge in the first trial erred by giving undue weight to a witness statement identifying Reeves as the shooter. The conviction was set aside and a new trial was ordered.

Crown counsel did not oppose the new trial. It took place in Chilliwack over several weeks last fall and was declared a mistrial because the jury could not reach a unanimous decision.

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