A Vancouver man was sentenced Wednesday to about 2½ years in prison for shooting a man during an apparent marijuana deal gone wrong in the parking lot of a west Vancouver apartment complex.
Timothy L. Allen, 20, pleaded guilty to first-degree robbery by way of an “in re Barr” plea, meaning he pleaded guilty to the lesser related charge he didn’t commit to avoid the risk of conviction on a greater offense.
Allen was originally charged with first-degree assault with a firearm enhancement, and if he had gone to trial, the prosecutor said he would have also pursued a conviction for attempted first-degree robbery.
Allen’s defense attorney, Angela Avery, said her client would have argued self-defense.
Vancouver police responded at 6:16 p.m. Sept. 18, 2022, to the Arnada Pointe Apartments, 4820 N.E. Hazel Dell Ave., for reports of a person who had been shot. Officers arrived to find a man, identified in court records as Andrew Kreitel, suffering a gunshot wound to the chest, which damaged his lungs and caused his left arm to become paralyzed.
A witness told police he was in his car in the parking lot when a Honda Civic pulled up near him with two men inside. Kreitel was later identified as the driver and Allen was identified as the passenger, according to an affidavit of probable cause.
The witness said he heard arguing coming from inside the car, which appeared to turn physical. He told officers a man in a ski mask, later identified by police as Allen, exited the car, pulled out a handgun and pointed it at Kreitel. The witness said he heard the gunman say, “I’m going to shoot you,” before firing one shot and running away, the affidavit says. (Avery, the defense attorney, said the witness later recanted.)
Investigators determined Allen had contacted Kreitel to buy $50 worth of “dabs,” a highly concentrated form of marijuana. Kreitel agreed and came to the apartment complex, where detectives determined Allen lived, according to court records.
Kreitel’s mother told the judge about receiving the phone call that her son had been shot.
“The fear and the hurt I felt, I wouldn’t wish on anyone’s parents,” she said.
Her son spent 15 days in the hospital, she said, five of which he spent on life support. She said at 20 years old, he became permanently disabled.
As part of Allen’s plea agreement, the prosecution recommended he serve the low end of his sentencing range of 31 to 41 months.
“My hope is he has remorse for what happened. My hope is he has empathy for Andrew. And my hope is he takes this time to change the course of his life,” Senior Deputy Prosecutor Luka Vitasovic told the judge.
Allen apologized before he was sentenced.
“I’m going to be a better person for my community, for myself, for my family,” he said.