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Crime

Witness testifies she was kidnapped for saying too much about Saskatoon gang killing

WATCH ABOVE: A key witness at the first-degree murder trial of Shaylin Sutherland-Kayseas said she was kidnapped after saying too much about a killing involving terror squad gang members.

Shaylin Katrina Sutherland-Kayseas appeared emotionless as three Crown witnesses took the stand during her first-degree murder trial.

In court on Monday, Sutherland-Kayseas entered a not guilty plea in Dylan Phillips’ murder.

READ MORE: Saskatoon’s 10th homicide victim died from gunshot wound

She also pleaded not guilty to two counts of assault with a weapon and one charge of committing a murder for the benefit of a criminal organization.

The Crown’s first witness was accompanied by two armed police officers for her protection.

Kathleen Belanger testified that she was introduced to the accused through a friend and that they would hang out and smoke methamphetamine together.

She identified Sutherland-Kayseas as a member of the Terror Squad gang and that she had heard the accused brag that she had “bodied” somebody during a drug deal gone wrong.

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It wasn’t until Belanger turned on the news that she put two and two together.

READ MORE: 2 more charged with murder in Saskatoon’s 10th homicide of 2016

The victim was Dylan Phillips, 26, who had been shot just before 11 p.m. CT on Oct. 14, 2016, at his family home in the 1400-block of Avenue G North.

Belanger testified she hadn’t kept the killing a secret once she figured it out and was later kidnapped by Sutherland-Kayseas as a result.

Court heard that Belanger was swarmed, assaulted, zip-tied, duct-taped and thrown in the trunk of a car.

“They kept threatening my kids because they knew where they were.”

Belanger described how she was Sutherland-Kayseas prisoner and was treated like a dog after not “being able to keep her mouth shut.”

More than 24 hours went by and Belanger was finally rescued by police; she asked that they make it look like she was under arrest so nobody would know what was going on.

WATCH MORE: Apparent assault victim becomes Saskatoon’s 10th homicide of 2016

Apparent assault victim becomes Saskatoon’s 10th homicide of 2016: police
Apparent assault victim becomes Saskatoon’s 10th homicide of 2016: police

During cross-examination, Belanger admitted to smoking crystal meth on a daily basis to cope with the fact that her children had been taken away and were no longer in her care.

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She agreed the drug could affect a person’s memory and the defence poked holes in her testimony comparing it to a sworn statement given to police regarding the ordeal.

Two officers with Saskatoon Police Service were the next to take the stand, including Det. Sgt. Richard Bueckert, who was the first responding officer to the scene of the crime.

He described the scene inside the home as frantic and Phillips laying on the kitchen floor not breathing with his mother by his side.

They recovered a sawed-off rifle in the backyard shortly after and he was the one to tell Phillips’ parents that he was dead from a gunshot wound to the chest.

He asked officers to gather statements from Phillips’ parents and a third witness on the scene separately so they couldn’t taint each other’s account of the events.

Two co-accused in this case have already pleaded guilty to manslaughter.

Sutherland-Kayseas is being tried by judge alone. In July, she was convicted of kidnapping Belanger, but has not yet been sentenced.

The Crown plans on calling 19 witnesses including Dylan Phillips’ parents who will take the stand on Tuesday.

This trial is scheduled to run three weeks and will resume Tuesday at 10 a.m.

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