Man charged with murder in Belleville shooting
Published Thursday, March 18, 2010 3:10PM EDT
A 21-year-old Belleville man is charged with one count of first-degree murder and another count of attempted murder following an early morning shooting in the quiet eastern Ontario community.
Myles Hughes was arrested at the scene after police found two men suffering from gunshot wounds when they responded to a disturbance call at a home on Victoria Avenue at 3:30 a.m. Thursday.
Both victims were rushed to hospital in Belleville. Roy Steven Mays, 24, was pronounced dead a short time later.
Police say Justin Steven Coughlin, 19, was transferred to Kingston General Hospital to be treated for his injuries. There is no word on his condition.
Police confirm the victims were related. However, they could not say if the pair had any connection to the suspect.
"I cannot confirm if there was an association between the victims and the accused," Sgt. Julie Forestell told CTV Ottawa.
Hughes made a brief court appearance in Belleville this afternoon. He is remanded in custody until his next court appearance via video link on March 25.
It's the second time murder charges have been laid against a Belleville man in less than one week.
The mayor of Belleville says he's shocked to learn of another shooting, and hopes calm will return to the area soon.
"We're not used to tragic events like this in the area," Mayor Neil Ellis told CTV Ottawa on Thursday.
"Hopefully, calm will return to the city soon."
An 18-year-old Belleville man was charged with two counts of first-degree murder and one count of attempted murder last week after a woman and her 14-year-old daughter were killed at their home in Mountain View, Ont., just south of Belleville.
Eighteen-year-old Shannon Hannah – who recently ended a relationship with suspect Dean Brown – was also shot.
Last month, the disappearance of 27-year-old Jessica Lloyd, of Belleville, led to murder charges against the former commander of CFB Trenton.
Col. Russell Williams is now facing first-degree murder charges in connection with Lloyd's death, as well as the killing of Cpl. Marie-France Comeau, who served under Williams' command and was found dead in her Brighton, Ont. home last November.
Ellis said Belleville and its neighbouring communities are generally regarded as quiet and safe places to live. The latest incidents have caught everyone by surprise, he added.
"We're not even through the last thing and this happens . . . Certainly, as a mayor, you never expect to deal with this."
He added while the crimes are tragic, they don't necessarily indicate an increase in the volume of crime in the area. According to statistics from the last quarter of 2009, he said violent crimes were actually down in Belleville.