Witness in Shawn Douglas murder admits he lied
One of the men who witnessed the final moments of 54-year-old Shawn Douglas’ life retook the stand for a third consecutive day before the jury, as the lengthy trial entered week five.
Under cross-examination, defence lawyers challenged Aiden Anaquod’s recounting of events three years ago and questioned if what Anaquod said happened in the bush was actually true.
The Crown believes Johnathon Peepeetch, Joshua Wilson and Dennis Thompson are responsible for the first-degree murder of Shawn Douglas. The Crown alleged the three men, along with others, robbed Douglas of his money, beat him with hammers and left in a rural field near Zehner, Sask.
Court heard Anaquod had taken cocaine, marijuana and magic mushrooms that August evening.
Joshua Wilson’s lawyer, Kevin Hill questioned whether those drugs could have affected his memory. Anaquod said he remembered it clearly, standing by his testimony that Peepeetch struck Douglas first with a sledgehammer, then Wilson and Thompson joined in after.
“That’s something you don’t forget and something I won’t forget,” Anaquod said.
Hill took issue with that, adding autopsy report revealed there was no stab wounds, asking if Anaquod could have been mistaken about what he saw in the bush.
“It wasn’t a mistake. I seen it clear as day.”
Anaquod testified he believed the group was dropping Douglas off at the field, admitting he thought they were going to rob him first and then “drop him off at his farm”, he said.
Last week, jurors heard one of the women persuaded Wilson to rob Douglas of his cash. Court heard Douglas had attempted to leave the house party on Toronto Street but was held up with a knife by Wilson.
Anaquod testified that no one in the group knew Douglas had money, not even the three co-accused, and the only people who knew Douglas had money were the two women Douglas was with that evening.
“Those two females are the ones who told Josh he has money,” Anaquod said.
The defence also suggested Anaquod had lied on other occasions, including past statements to police and on the witness stand.
On Friday, Anaquod told court he didn’t recall what happened when the man was put in a car. But on Monday, he admitted he was there and tried to stop Douglas from escaping from the trunk of the car. He also admitted to helping put Douglas’ body into the trunk.
Hill alleged Anaquod’s version of events have changed numerous times throughout the years. Anaquod admitted to lying at first, but maintained his position that he didn’t play a role in Douglas’ death.
“I didn’t kill Mr. Douglas”, he testified.
Court also heard about Anaquod’s ties to gang activity. He told a courtroom jury he was a member of Native Syndicate (NS) gang, recruited by co-accused Wilson.
“I respected him. He was like a big brother to me,” he said.
Anaquod told court he was a low-level gang member of NS, adding he became afraid of them, aware of what “they were capable of”.
In order to get out of the street gang NS, Anaquod said he became affiliated with another gang called Sask Warriors (SW).
“I patch[ed] over to Sask Warriors to get dropped out of NS,” Anaquod testified.
Anaquod said he’s no longer a member of any gang because “ever since that happened, I don’t socialize with people in gangs”.
When asked about the rules of the street life, Anaquod said he only knew one rule.
“The only rule I know is to not be doing what I’m doing, which is snitching,” Anaquod said.
Court also heard during his first two interviews and subsequent statements to police Anaquod never mentioned Dennis Thompson as being in the bush with the other accused.
Thompson’s lawyer, Kathy Hodgson-Smith, questioned why he failed to mention that to police, to which Anaquod responded that he didn’t know Thompson’s name at the time. Court heard Anaquod later told police Thompson had attacked Douglas’ with a knife.
It’s at odds with Anaquod’s testimony last week where he recalled seeing Thompson wielding a claw hammer. On the stand Monday, Anaquod said he didn’t know what a claw hammer looked like, and it’s why he described it as a knife.
Aiden Anaquod is charged with first-degree murder for his role in Douglas’ death. His trial is slated for February next year.Follow @ChristaDao
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