A man who was recently acquitted of charges in connection with a violent home invasion is facing new charges after the RCMP responded to a weapons complaint in North Preston, N.S.

Police received a report shortly after 1 a.m. Tuesday that gunshots had been fired at a home on Cain Street.

Officers tried to stop a vehicle from leaving the area, but police say the driver refused to pull over. Police say the officers followed the vehicle and spotted a firearm being thrown from the window.

The vehicle eventually stopped on Forest Hills Extension, just before Highway 118, and three men were taken into custody without incident.

When police went to find the firearm that had been thrown from the vehicle, they found a second firearm. Both were seized.

Police now say 21-year-old Markel Jason Downey of Cole Harbour, 20 year-old Shiquawn Marcel Upshaw-Paris of Halifax, and 20 year-old Keauno Remello Fraser of North Preston, each face the following charges:

  • Careless use of a firearm
  • Possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose (two counts)
  • Carrying a concealed weapon (two counts)
  • Possession of a firearm knowing it is unauthorized (two counts)
  • Unauthorized possession in a motor vehicle (two counts)
  • Possession of a prohibited/restricted firearm with ammunition
  • Possession of a weapon obtained by commission of offence
  • Fail to comply with recognizance (two counts)
  • Possession of weapons contrary to order (two counts)

Downey, Upshaw-Paris and Fraser are due to appear Wednesday in Dartmouth provincial court.

Last month, Downey was acquitted of 28 charges, including three counts of attempted murder, in connection with a home invasion in Cole Harbour, N.S. in November 2014.

The incident left a young woman paralyzed from the chest down. During Downey’s trial, Ashley MacLean Kearse testified that four masked intruders had entered the home and shot her and two of her friends.

However, the judge said that her testimony wasn’t enough for a conviction, and that the Crown failed to prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt.

The Crown is now appealing the acquittal, citing six points in which it believes the judge erred in law, including applying the wrong legal test regarding voice recognition.

“I think at the end of the day the public should have faith in the process,” said Crown attorney Scott Morrison. “Ultimately the Court of Appeal is going to look closely at the charges that were recently the subject of the acquittal to determine if that was a fair result, and again we want the Crown to be held to a high standard of proof.”

Both the Crown and defence want to make it clear that the new charges are a separate matter.

“Mr. Downey was found not guilty of the matters that were before the court before. This is a completely different set of allegations, which the Crown, once again, will have to prove,” said defence lawyer Pat MacEwen. 

Downey, Upshaw-Paris and Fraser are due to appear Wednesday in Dartmouth provincial court.

With files from CTV Atlantic’s Kayla Hounsell.