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Witness recalls man laughing after throwing trailer hitch at Indigenous woman in Thunder Bay, Ont.

The testimony that was delivered at a 2018 preliminary hearing has been entered into evidence at the trial of Brayden Bushby, which began yesterday. Nick Westoll / File / Global News

THUNDER BAY, Ont. — Two friends who were with a man when he threw a trailer hitch at an Indigenous woman in Thunder Bay, Ont., have told a court he was drunk at the time and laughed immediately after the incident.

The testimony that was delivered at a 2018 preliminary hearing has been entered into evidence at the trial of Brayden Bushby, which began yesterday.

Bushby has pleaded not guilty to manslaughter in the death of 34-year-old Barbara Kentner.

Read more: Trial begins for man accused in death of Indigenous woman hit by trailer hitch

Kenter died five months after she was injured in the January 2017 incident.

Bushby, 21, has admitted to throwing the hitch and pleaded guilty to aggravated assault but his lawyer argues there is no legal link between his actions and Kentner’s death.

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Two men who were with Bushby when he threw the hitch from a vehicle say he had been drinking for hours before the incident.

Nathan Antonisyzn testified that Bushby had said he wanted to “drive around and yell at hookers” before the Jan. 29, 2017 assault.

Antoniszyn told the court he saw his friend pick up the trailer hitch at one point and he later heard a bang outside the vehicle, which was being driven by another friend.

Read more: Bushby trial to proceed at courthouse hotel on Nov. 2

He testified that he saw Bushby return to his seat, laughing, and says he “clicked” on to what Bushby had done.

Jordan Crupi, who was also in the vehicle at the time, testified that Bushby had been drinking whisky since the previous morning.

Crupi told the court that he had been asleep in the back seat but was woken up by a bang and saw Bushby, who had been partially out of the window, return to the front passenger seat.

Neither of the two witnesses who reported the incident to the police days after it happened saw Bushby throw the trailer hitch, court heard.

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The trial continues today with testimony expected from Dr. Toby Rose, who performed a post-mortem examination on Kentner after her death in July 2017.

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