Jonathan Burnett knew something was wrong when he was awakened after midnight on March 3, 2010, with his dog freaking out and his phone going crazy, the Crown witness told a B.C. Supreme Court jury this week.
Burnett was testifying Monday on the first day of Andrew Belcourt and Samuel Mcgraths second-degree murder trial in B.C. Supreme Court.
Belcourt and Mcgrath have pleaded guilty to robbery with a firearm and breaking into the Pembroke Street apartment of Leslie Hankel, a 52-year-old man with mental-health issues.
The issue the jury must decide is whether Belcourt and Mcgrath are guilty of the second-degree murder of Hankel, who died of a gunshot wound to the head.
Burnett, who lived with his girlfriend in a ground-floor apartment at 1260 Pembroke St., answered his phone. It was Alex Scott, who lived upstairs, asking if he was OK.
I said I was fine, Burnett testified. Scott said he thought he heard a gunshot.
Burnett ran to his living room, grabbed a bat and ran out the front door, he testified. He saw a man wearing head-to-toe black clothing leave Hankels suite and go over the fence.
Within seconds, he said, Burnett saw another man come of Hankels ground-floor suite with a shotgun in his hand.
The person with the shotgun said Do you want some? or Do you want some of this? Burnett recalled.
Burnett turned and ran back to his apartment. He testified that he closed the door, but went back out immediately.
I went into Less house and saw it had been ripped apart, he said.
He found Hankel on the floor of his bedroom.
I saw him taking his last breath and half of his head was blown off and blood was everywhere, Burnett told the jury. I started freaking out I was really messed up.
During cross-examination, Burnett told Belcourts defence lawyer, Tim Russell, that the light outside his apartment is bright and the area is well illuminated. Burnett testified he only saw a side view of the man who spoke to him, and turned away when he saw the weapon.
Burnett told Mcgraths lawyer, Mike Munro, that both men were wearing hoodies and he didnt know if their faces were covered.
On Tuesday, Crown witness Kevin Chapman testified that he and his girlfriend were driving down Pembroke Street when they saw two suspicious-looking men with hoods drawn running toward them on the sidewalk.
Chapman slowed to turn into the parking lot of his apartment building. As they got closer, Chapman saw the two men, who were running single file about one metre apart, were wearing bandanas that covered the lower half of their faces.
The man running behind had a shotgun or rifle slung across his back, Chapman testified. He watched as they gained speed and cut across the front lawn of his building.
Instead of pulling into the driveway, Chapman made a three-point turn and started driving away.
I didnt want to stay in the area, he said.
Both men were wearing zip-up hoodies. The first man had an all-dark hoodie. The second was wearing a dark hoodie that appeared to have a silk-screened design on it, Chapman testified.
Also on the stand, Crown witness Ashley Lewis testified that she heard two loud noises about 10 minutes apart.
Later, she noticed a bullet had come up through the floorboards and was lodged in the flooring about 18 inches from the mattress where her sister had been sleeping.
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