On the evening of Aug. 15, 2015, William Sandeson and his girlfriend went out for dinner together.
Sonja Gashus told Sandeson’s first-degree murder trial in Dartmouth that he asked her to go to her friend’s house that night because “he wanted to do a deal that would be the last deal.”
At the time, the two had been dating for about one year. She was aware that he sold marijuana and voiced concern to him, especially because he was starting med school that fall, she testified.
At around midnight, she said she received a text from Sandeson saying that it was OK for her to come back to his Henry Street apartment. She says she showed up within minutes of that text as her friend lived nearby.
Asked by Crown attorney Carla Ball what Sandeson’s mood or demeanour was like, she described Sandeson acting “a little rattled.”
Later in her testimony, during cross-examination with defence lawyer Alison Craig, Gashus agreed with assertions that Sandeson was panicked, shaken up, and his heart was racing.
She said his apartment smelled like cleaning products, specifically, bleach.
She told the trial that, at the time, Sandeson said bleach was used because someone got “beat up” during the deal, and that “there was a lot of blood” that he had to clean up.
While she doesn’t recall when a conversation happened, Gashus said that she confronted Sandeson after seeing a missing person post on social media. The missing person was Taylor Samson.
She told the court that she didn’t know Samson and that Sandeson said it wasn’t him.
Sandeson is accused of fatally shooting Samson. His body has never been found. Sandeson has pleaded not guilty.
Just a couple of days later on Aug. 18, Sandeson and his girlfriend attended one of her family’s dinners in Dartmouth.
When they were leaving, Gashus said police swarmed the property and arrested them both. She was released that night.
She told the jury that earlier that summer Sandeson had purchased a silver handgun and that he had a license for it.
During cross-examination, Craig asked Gashus if her ex-boyfriend ever raised concerns about financial difficulties.
She testified that it was never explicitly mentioned, aside from typical concerns of a university student.
The trial resumes Wednesday.