Monday, March 22, 2010
Gang member blames drugs for failed memory of the shooting
He has already testified two times in the trials of two men accused of killing innocent bystander Phil Haiart.
But when brought to court Monday to testify in the trial of Jeffrey Cansanay, the street gangster couldn’t remember a thing.
The 19-year-old member of the Mad Cowz street gang spent more than two hours on the witness stand, during which time he refused to admit he had any knowledge of the October 2005 killing.
Cansanay, 23, is charged with second-degree murder. The Crown alleges Cansanay shot Haiart and another man while firing at two street gangsters fleeing from a McGee Street crack house.
In the hours and days leading up to the shooting, the house was the focus of several violent confrontations involving the Mad Cowz street gang and a breakaway gang, the African Mafia.
Crown attorney Gerry Bowering read excerpts from the 19-year-old witness’ 2005 police statement, in which he described a shoot-out outside the crack house the day before Haiart was killed.
“I don’t remember that,” the man said. “If I remember, I will let you know.”
The man looked bored as he propped his head in his hands and repeatedly claimed no memory of his police statement.
At one point the man accused police of beating him until he implicated Cansanay in the killing. Later he blamed his poor memory on his drug use.
“Is it not correct, that what you are doing here today is pretending that you have memory loss so you won’t be placed in the position to have to describe what happened to the jury?” Bowering said.
“No. I don’t remember, man,” the man responded.
The Crown alleges Gharib Abdullah and Corey Amyotte were the men Cansanay was shooting at when Haiart was caught in the line of fire and killed.
Last week Abdullah testified he and Amyotte had approached the crack house “to talk about the problem” when Cansanay pointed a sawed-off rifle at them and a co-accused ordered him to shoot.
Amyotte testified Monday he was “in hiding” at his girlfriend’s apartment the day Haiart was killed.
“I did a shooting the night before and I would not have been in the area at that time,” he told court.