Witness in Regina murder trial testifies Duran Redwood admitted to hitting girlfriend
The second-degree murder trial of Duran Redwood in Regina is now in its second week.
On Wednesday, the courtroom was full as an acquaintance of Redwood’s — who can’t be named due to a publication ban — testified in the case.
Redwood, 30, is accused of killing his partner, 33-year-old Celeste Yawney, on May 24, 2015.
The witness said Redwood appeared to show no emotion, saying the accused “just seemed empty” as he told the witness on several occasions what happened the night Yawney was killed.
The witness told the jury that Redwood said he and Yawney had gone out for drinks on the night of her death before going back to Yawney’s house with a friend.
The witness testified that Redwood said he and Yawney started to fight but that the accused and his friend then left. The witness told court that Redwood later went back to Yawney’s house by himself that same evening, kicking in the door because he expected to catch Yawney cheating on him.
When that didn’t happen, the witness testified that Redwood said he began to hit Yawney, eventually knocking her out. The witness told court that Redwood later described himself as “pretty pissed off.”
The witness then said that Redwood told him he dragged Yawney’s unconscious body into the bathtub and turned on the water to try and wake her up.
When asked by co-Crown prosecutor Constance Hottinger why he came forward to police, the witness responded: “It’s wrong to kill someone. I don’t believe anyone should get away with murder.”
During cross-examination by defence lawyer Kevin Hill, the jury heard that the witness has a lengthy criminal record, including pending charges, and that he had asked police for leniency in exchange for coming forward.
Sgt. Pierre Beauchesne with the Regina Police Service also testified, saying the witness has not received anything for his information.
Court also heard that the witness has provided information in at least six other murder investigations. As a result, Hill argued the witness was dishonest, alleging that his testimony was fabricated for his own benefit.
The jury also heard testimony from neuropathologist Dr. Christopher Robinson, who examined Yawney’s brain. Robinson testified that there was swelling consistent with trauma.
Last week, the jury heard testimony from Yawney’s mother, who said her daughter had struggled with alcohol and was fearful of her relationship with Redwood.
The jury also heard from several witnesses who said Redwood told them he couldn’t recall what had happened that night.
In an agreed statement of facts, the Crown told the court at the beginning of the trial that Redwood does not dispute his actions caused Yawney’s death, saying the question was instead one about intent and why the incident happened.
Court is expected to hear more about Yawney’s autopsy on Thursday as the Crown calls its last witness. It’s then up to the defence to decide whether they’re calling evidence.
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