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Accused in Peterborough Home Depot parking lot shooting thanks trial witness for helping his wife

Terrence Finn is led to Peterborough Superior Court for his first-degree murder trial on Monday, Jan. 6.
Terrence Finn is led to Peterborough Superior Court for his first-degree murder trial on Monday, Jan. 6. Sarah Deeth / Global News Peterborough

During the second day of his murder trial Tuesday, the Peterborough-area man accused in the 2018 shooting of his wife in a Home Depot parking lot thanked one of the eyewitnesses for helping his wife.

Terrance Finn was charged with first-degree murder on Aug. 22, 2018 after Sandra Finn, 70, was found around 8 a.m. that morning with gunshot wounds inside a vehicle parked at the store on Lansdowne Street West.

She died at Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto later that day, police said.

Finn, 77, is representing himself in the Superior Court trial by judge but is receiving court-appointed help for legal complexities.

READ MORE: Murder trial begins for man accused of shooting wife in Peterborough Home Depot parking lot

On Monday, Finn, from the nearby community of Westwood, openly admitted to Justice Jocelyn Speyer that he shot his wife but that he couldn’t say definitely if he meant to kill her. The judge struck down his plea and ordered the trial to begin.

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Among the 11 witnesses to testify Tuesday — which included eyewitnesses and first responders — were Caleb MacInnis, a Peterborough firefighter, who said he helped paramedics remove Sandra out of the car. He testified the woman had “obvious trauma” to the head and was gagging but had a pulse.

Finn in cross-testimony simply thanked MacInnis for trying to save his wife’s life.

Sandra Finn
Sandra Finn.

But during a testy cross-examination of eyewitness Sean Lehmann, Finn asked if he noticed seeing anything in the back seat of Finn’s car.

Lehmann said he couldn’t recall, to which Finn said in court there were two puppies in the backseat.

Witness Georg Wieczorek says he called 911. He also testified that Finn told him to look after his two chihuahua puppies which were allegedly in the back seat of the vehicle.

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Last spring, police awarded Wieczorek with a Knights of Columbus civilian award for his effort to help “bring an end to the incident” while waiting for police to arrive.

Another witness, carpenter Derek Wing, said he was heading into the store to get supplies when he noticed the victim slouched over in the driver’s seat with blood running down her face. He also said he saw a gun that “looked like an old western-type pistol.

“Like from a Clint Eastwood movie,” he told the court.

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Twenty-seven-year paramedic Kris Ehmke testified he was the first emergency responder on the scene. He said he found Sandra slouched over the centre console of the vehicle with a wound to the left temple but vital signs were present. He said he learned the patient later died in hospital at Sunnybrook.

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A forensics officer on Monday testified police determined three shots were fired from a revolver. Const. Ian Hepburn testified a gun was found loaded and cocked on the hood of Finn’s vehicle.

The Crown is expected to wrap up its case later this week. It’s not yet known if Finn will call any witnesses or take the stand in his own defence.

Paramedics tend to a woman who was reportedly shot in the parking lot of The Home Depot in Peterborough on Aug. 22, 2018.
Paramedics tend to a woman who was reportedly shot in the parking lot of The Home Depot in Peterborough on Aug. 22, 2018. Carey Walker/Special to Global News Peterborough
A man approaches Terrance Finn on the morning of Aug. 22, 2018 in the parking lot of Home Depot on Lansdowne St. in Peterborough.
A man approaches Terrance Finn on the morning of Aug. 22, 2018 in the parking lot of Home Depot on Lansdowne St. in Peterborough. Carey Walker/Special to Global News Peterborough

(Note: An earlier version of this story identified a witness as Derek White. It is Derek Wing and has been corrected). 

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