Sentencing of Randy Desmond Riley delayed due to incomplete cultural assessment

A man who was found guilty in the 2010 shooting death of a pizza delivery man in Dartmouth will have to wait until the new year to be sentenced.

Randy Desmond Riley was found guilty of second-degree murder in connection with the shooting death of Donald Chad Smith.

Riley was charged with first-degree murder and unlawful possession of a firearm but was found guilty of the lesser charge after the jury deliberated for 29 hours.

Second-degree murder carries an automatic sentence of life in prison.

Smith, a father of two, had recently started a job at Panada Pizza in Dartmouth. He was fatally shot by a shotgun while attempting to make a delivery at 15 Joseph Young St.

Donald Chad Smith was fatally shot while attempting to deliver a pizza to an apartment building in Dartmouth in 2010.

Incomplete cultural assessment

In Nova Scotia Supreme Court on Friday morning, Justice James L. Chipman said the delay is the result of a cultural assessment of Riley that has not yet been completed.

Riley requested the cultural assessment following his conviction.

Cultural assessments are a rarely used document that assesses how racial and heritage factors may have contributed to a crime. Riley is of African Nova Scotian background, and the cultural assessment will look at how that may have led to his criminal actions.

The findings of the cultural assessment could have an impact on Riley’s parole eligibility.

In court Friday, Chipman was visibly unhappy with the incomplete assessment and the resulting delay. The judge says he received word in September that the author, Robert Wright, would need until December to complete the report.

Crown prosecutor Melanie Perry says she was informed in late November that the report will not be complete until mid-January, as Wright only met with Riley on Thursday.

“I’m not very happy with the turn of events,” Chipman told the court.

“It’s extremely regrettable that we can’t have a sentencing by the end of the year.”

Chipman added that if another delay were to occur, he would be willing to call Wright into court to take the witness stand and testify about the reasons for the delay.

Riley’s parole eligibility hearing is now scheduled to take place on Feb. 8, 2019.

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