Welcome to my Crime and Justice blog! I am a 19 year old criminal justice student at the University of Winnipeg. I advocate for prisoners' rights, human rights, equality and criminal justice/prison system reforms.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Nature call kept woman from gunfire

A trip to the washroom may have saved her life.
Jurors heard the woman was waiting outside the washroom at an Alexander Avenue house party when two masked men walked into the kitchen, pulled out guns and started shooting.
Minutes earlier the woman was sitting at the kitchen table talking to Scott Lavallee, Corey Keeper and Jennifer Ward. All three were killed. Another three people were wounded.
“They were looking directly at the people sitting at the table,” said the woman, who, by court order, cannot be identified.
“They didn’t say nothing and started shooting,” she said. “I thought it was a joke. I thought it was a cap gun until I saw Jen Ward fall over.”
The woman said she scrambled to the basement, where she warned several other partygoers of the danger upstairs.
“Me and my cousin started unscrewing the light bulbs because we thought they were going to come down and start shooting us,” she said.
A now 17-year-old boy is on trial charged with three counts of first-degree murder and three counts of attempted murder in connection with the March 2008 incident. A now 20-year-old man is being tried separately.
The woman said she had been at a nightclub with friends and family before arriving at the house party sometime after 1 a.m.
“I was drunk but I remember everything that happened,” she said. “Everybody was having a nice time, everybody was having fun.”
Court heard the woman left the nightclub that evening after running into people with whom she had been involved in a violent clash a week earlier. During that fight — which involved nearly everybody attending a house party — a man threatened to kill the woman’s sister.
“It was a pretty big fight, wasn’t it?” said defence lawyer Gerri Wiebe.
“Yeah, but we’re all friends now,” the woman said.
Earlier in the trial, another witness, Howard Roulette, testified he was forced at gunpoint to drive the two accused to the Alexander Avenue house party. Roulette said he had been at the party earlier with the adult accused when the man abruptly decided to leave.
Roulette said he drove the man to an Alfred Avenue address where he picked up the co-accused. He said both accused were armed with handguns. The adult accused ordered Roulette to drive them back to the house party, saying they were going to “shoot up the place,” Roulette said.
The trial resumes Monday.

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