Three Calgary men charged with first-degree murder entered not-guilty pleas in court on Monday morning.
Yahye Gabad, Tyrell Noskiye and Dwayne Turner are on trial for first-degree murder following the death of Karson Goodeagle, 33, in 2020. All three started their judge-only trial Monday.
A fourth person, Timothy Jones, was also charged with first-degree murder but died prior to the trial.
On Jan. 5, 2020, Goodeagle was found in the middle of the road on 11th Avenue S.W. and Centre Street by police just before 5 a.m. According to the Crown, Goodeagle was in medical distress and was bleeding from several wounds on his body.
He was taken to the hospital but later died from his injuries despite life-saving efforts. An autopsy revealed that he suffered multiple stab wounds to his torso.
CCTV footage taken from several businesses in the area showed an injured Goodeagle walking around before he was found, Crown lawyers said. Footage also showed an attack on Goodeagle by four individuals near a Circle K convenience store downtown. Crown lawyers say all four participants pushed, punched, kicked, struck and made stabbing motions on Goodeagle.
The assault ends with the four participants walking back to Circle K while Goodeagle made his way toward The Mustard Seed, a Christian non-profit organization that helps people experiencing homelessness and poverty.
All four were arrested in the days following the fatal stabbing and assault, and some of their clothing and belongings were sent for DNA analysis.
During his cross-examination Monday, Dr. Bernard Bannach, the doctor that performed the autopsy, confirmed Goodeagle received five stab wounds and blunt injuries to his head, right shoulder, hands and around the knees.
Witnesses testify in court
Lawyers for the Crown and defence questioned witnesses who testified in court on Monday afternoon.
Security guard Megan Barron testified that she saw an injured man in the middle of the road while making her way between two properties in downtown Calgary during her shift on Jan. 5, 2020.
She said she first thought the man was drunk because he was walking and stumbling in the middle of the road. She then called the police after he collapsed. She said saw the stab wounds when he was being treated by EMS.
“He was saying ‘I don’t wanna die’ and the (EMS staff) said he was not going to die and told him not to worry.”
Clayton Skwarok, a paramedic for Alberta Health Services in Calgary, told the court that emergency crews were initially called for a man down but the call was then escalated to a potential stabbing and gunshot wound.
Skwarok attended the scene and said the man was bleeding heavily and crawling on the road when he arrived. He said the man was suffering from trauma to his lungs and lacerations on his head, upper right arm and chest.
Skwarok noted that Goodeagle went into cardiac arrest when they got to Foothills Hospital. He added the man was not cooperative with verbal commands.
“He looked like he was clutching for air. Other patients with chest injuries try to grab the air, trying to breathe,” Skwarok said.
Jessica Vanderhoek, another paramedic at the incident, confirmed Skwarok’s observations.
CCTV footage admissible in court
Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Ola Malik ruled that the CCTV videos from six locations in the area where Goodeagle was assaulted can be entered into evidence in court on Monday.
The defence previously filed an application to exclude video footage from various commercial and residential buildings that were obtained by police without a search warrant. According to Malik, the applicants claimed a reasonable expectation of privacy where video surveillance footage was obtained and raised concerns of police potentially altering the images once obtained.
In an oral decision given on Monday, Malik said the applicants were recorded in public locations in full public view by third parties who owed them no confidentiality with respect to the CCTV footage. It is also routine to give the footage to the police when asked, Malik said.
She also said the altering of images by police did not change the images but amplified them.
“Maybe the signage of video surveillance is not obvious to passersby, but there is no evidence before me that the applicants expected that their actions outside the corner store on public streets would go unseen and unmonitored,” Malik said.
“I would have a very different opinion if the video had been taken in private areas such as hallways and apartment buildings… These videos were taken in public areas.”
The trial continues on Tuesday.
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