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Court offers look into final moments before arrest in COVID-19 abduction trial

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Court offers look into final moments before arrest in COVID-19 abduction trial
Friday marked the final day of the Crown’s witnesses taking the stand in the Michael Gordon Jackson trial. Jackson is currently on trial, accused of abducting his daughter to avoid a COVID-19 vaccine – Apr 12, 2024

Friday marked the final day of the Crown’s witnesses taking the stand in the Michael Gordon Jackson trial. Jackson is currently on trial, accused of abducting his daughter to avoid a COVID-19 vaccine.

RCMP officers Spencer Hornoi and Toril Romailler arrested Jackson in Vernon, B.C., on Feb. 24, 2022.

After Saskatchewan RCMP discovered Jackson had used a phone in the Vernon area, the two officers responded to the scene.

Hornoi says he approached the 2005 Honda Pilot on foot, where he saw Jackson and his daughter standing outside the vehicle.

“I was certain it was the vehicle as it had a vanity plate on the front that was included in the pictures (sent by Saskatchewan RCMP),” Hornoi testified.

When he got to the car, Hornoi told the courtroom Jackson was very calm and co-operative with the police.

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“The girl appeared fine,” Hornoi said. “I won’t speak to how she was feeling as police were arresting Jackson.”

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Romailler spent time with the daughter as Hornoi arrested Jackson. He said the girl was scared because the police were dealing with her and Jackson but appeared to be in good health.

“I tried to comfort her and after a short conversation she calmed down,” Romailler told Courtroom 6.

Jackson’s daughter was cared for by a social services organization after the arrest of Jackson until her mother arrived.

The mother was flown to Vernon within a few hours of the arrest.

Throughout the week, multiple friends were asked if Jackson had ever discussed taking his daughter before they left.

Jackson’s former friend Kurt Jedel told the courtroom Jackson at one point talked about taking his daughter to Alaska and over to Russia. Jackson, who is representing himself, said he once made a joke about taking a boat to Russia. Jedel said he didn’t take it that way.

Jedel said another scenario was also discussed by Jackson, saying he would buy a piece of land in B.C., where he’d build his own home “off the grid.”

During cross-examination of each of the crown’s civilian witnesses by Jackson, he asked them what the relationship between Jackson and his daughter was like.

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Warren Dalziel has known Jackson for a number of years, and said Jackson had had an “exceptional” relationship with his daughter since she was born.

Shawn Sim acted as a middleman between RCMP and Jackson during his disappearance. When describing the daughter’s behaviour around Jackson versus his wife, he said there was a change in demeanour when the daughter was being taken back home.

“There was a difference between drop-off and pickup with the mother,” Sim told the courtroom.

He went on to say Jackson had a very close relationship with his daughter, and she felt safe in his care from his perspective.

On Monday, Jackson is expected to testify before more witnesses and debate fill the courtroom at Court of King’s Bench in Regina.

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