Two accused of plotting Halifax attack face more charges
HALIFAX -- Two people accused of plotting to open fire in a Halifax shopping mall now face more charges.
The RCMP said Saturday that Lindsay Kantha Souvannarath, 23, of Geneva, Ill., and Randall Steven Shepherd, 20, of Halifax were charged with conspiracy to commit murder.
Crown information submitted to the provincial court says Shepherd and Souvannarath also face charges of conspiracy to commit arson, illegal possession of weapons for a purpose dangerous to the public and making a threat through social media.
The two accused were brought separately from a black police SUV and both briefly glanced towards a swarm of media as they were taken into the courthouse Tuesday.
Souvannarath entered the courtroom first, wearing a white, cowl-type sweater. Shepherd came next, wearing a black winter jacket, his long, sandy blond hair falling in front of his eyes as he sat down.
As two sheriff's deputies sat between them, both looked around the courtroom but didn't appear to acknowledge each other. For the most part, they stared ahead as the court proceeding wrapped up within five minutes.
Duty counsel lawyer Kishan Persaud told the court they won't seek bail and their cases were adjourned until March 6.
Crown lawyer Shauna MacDonald said there has been a very limited amount of disclosure in the case and both of the accused are still seeking defence lawyers.
MacDonald said the Crown is going to oppose bail if an application is made before the Nova Scotia Supreme Court.
"It's a very unusual (case) for here," she said. "I've never encountered anything like it in the years I've been around."
Asked to explain why the case is considered a conspiracy, she said the police are alleging the pair had arrived at an agreement.
"The basis of a conspiracy is an agreement, so it can be a conversation," she said.
The Crown information alleges the offences took place between Jan. 6 and Valentine's Day and were carried out in concert with James Lee Gamble, a 19-year-old man found dead in his Halifax home.
The RCMP allege the accused were planning the attack on the Halifax Shopping Centre.
None of the allegations made by police or other officials about the case have been proven in court.