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News

Woman part of Canadian shooting plot faces sentencing next year

Lindsay Souvannarath's freshman photo from the GHS yearbook
Lindsay Souvannarath's freshman photo from the GHS yearbook

A Geneva woman who pleaded guilty in April to her part in a 2015 plot to go on a Valentine’s Day massacre at a Canadian mall will likely have her sentencing next spring.

Lindsay Kantha Souvannarath, 25, a former Geneva High School student, did not have her sentencing last month as planned, as reported by Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s News.

Chris Hansen, spokeswoman for the Nova Scotia Public Prosecution Service, said a psychological report would not be done on Souvannarath until early next year, so her sentencing would not be held until April.

Souvannarath, who has been in custody since her arrest, pleaded guilty April 11 to conspiracy to commit murder, Nova Scotia officials said.

Unlike in the U.S. where there are different levels of felony and misdemeanor crimes, Canada has only two, a summary offense – comparable to a misdemeanor – and an indictable offense, Hansen said.

“Conspiracy to commit murder is an indictable offense, and there is only one level,” Hansen said.

The sentencing hearing does not involve a jury, but the Crown prosecutors will present a sentencing recommendation.

Souvannarath’s defense will come up with its recommendation, and the judge will decide, Hansen said.

While there are sentencing guidelines for the crime of conspiracy to commit murder, Hansen said other factors will come into consideration, such as the accused’s willingness to accept responsibility and the facts of the case.

Souvannarath and Randall Steven Shepherd, 22, of Halifax, Nova Scotia, both had faced charges of conspiracy to commit arson, conspiracy to use weapons for a dangerous purpose and unlawfully conveying threats through social media, officials said.

Shepherd pleaded guilty last year to conspiracy to commit murder and was sentenced to a decade in jail, officials said.

A Crime Stoppers tip that originated in Canada suggested that Shepherd and Souvannarath had access to firearms, and they intended to go to a public venue – the Halifax Shopping Centre in Canada – with the goal of opening fire to kill citizens before killing themselves, police had reported.

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