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Trevor Shannon's friend says he felt threatened by party guests
The young man who accompanied Trevor Shannon to a Kelowna house party on Vimy Avenue that turned deadly in 2007, says neither he nor Shannon were looking for trouble when they went to the house.
Testifying at Shannon’s second-degree murder trial, Darryl Dickson, now 24, said he, his brother Robert and Shannon went to the party to pick up his girlfriend and a friend of hers.
And contrary to earlier testimony by other witnesses, Dickson said neither he nor Shannon were drunk or high at the time.
He said the pair had been at a barbecue earlier in the day and had a beer or two, but denied there was any marijuana smoked at that gathering.
“It was at my boss’s house. His kids were there,” said Dickson in response to Crown prosecutor Duncan Campbell suggesting there was drug use at the barbecue.
Dickson, one of three witnesses the defence is calling, said while he was involved in the altercation that led up to the fatal shooting of one of the party guests, Evan Wilkes, 18, he did not see the actual shooting occur.
Shannon is accused of shooting Wilkes in the head outside the house as the two argued while other party guests stood around watching.
Dickson said he was talking to someone else outside the house— someone who he said was apologizing for the behaviour of others inside moments earlier—when he saw a flash in his peripheral vision and heard a loud gunshot.
He said when he turned to look, he saw a young man on the ground, Shannon standing over him with a gun and several others gathered around.
He testified that he knew Shannon, 23 at the time, owned a gun and had seen it a few times at Shannon’s home, but never asked him about it.
He said he also did not know Shannon was carrying it that night.
On the witness stand, Dickson related his version of what happened.
He said after getting a call from his girlfriend to come pick her up, the three men arrived at the house to find about 15 others, mostly young men, in the kitchen of the Vimy Avenue home.
He said after introducing himself and trying to be social, the mood quickly soured when someone asked what part of town the three lived in.
“They did not seem to like the part of town we were from,” he said.
After that, a very drunk young man—later identified as Parker Burrows—jumped down off the counter where he was sitting, walked over to Dickson’s girlfriend and slapped her on the bottom, right in front of Dickson.
Dickson said that Burrows appeared to want to start a fight with him but he did not want to fight.
At that point, Dickson’s brother pushed Burrows and another man then pinned the brother against the wall in an adjoining laundry room area.
As Dickson stood by ready to help his brother, he saw a hand, with a can of what he called mace, appear over his right shoulder.
He pushed it down and as he looked back, he saw Shannon holding a gun and pointing it in the air telling everybody to get back.
It was at that moment that Dickson said the trio felt it was time to leave. “We went outside and everyone from inside followed us out,” he said.
Testifying that there was a great deal of yelling and commotion and everything happened so fast, he said it was at that point that one of the people from inside the house came up to him and apologized for the behaviour of the three or four young men who confronted the trio in the kitchen.
Earlier testimony said Burrows had grabbed two kitchen knives out of a drawer and lunged at Dickson during their brief altercation.
But Dickson said he did not see any knives.
Other witnesses said they saw Shannon threaten Burrows with the gun inside and wave it around.
But again, Dickson testified he did not see that occur either, just Shannon pointing the gun in the air.
After seeing the flash, hearing the shot and seeing Wilkes on the ground, Dickson said he, his brother and his girlfriend fled the scene on foot and were later picked up by a friend.
Shannon also fled on foot and was apprehended by police a short time later nearby.
Earlier testimony talked about the confrontation between Wilkes and Shannon, but Dickson said he did not see that take place because he was trying to help his bother and then was trying to find his girlfriend to leave.
He said when the can of mace came out, he felt everything was happening too fast. “That’s when I felt it was threatening.”
Earlier in the day, Dr. David Charlesworth, a forensic pathologist testifying for the defence, took issue with a report by the doctor who did the autopsy on Wilkes, calling it “scant.”
After reviewing a number of reports and photographs about the wounds to Wilkes’ body, he said because of the steep angle of the wound, it was not a “gun-pointed-against-the-head-type of contact.”
He said it appeared the gun would have come in contact with the baseball cap Wilkes was wearing at the time of the shooting.
He also said he could not say if the gun was moving at the time it was discharged.
Dr. William Currie, the pathologist who did the autopsy, earlier testified that the bullet did not enter Wilkes skull, instead it moved along it because the gun appeared to have been held at a 15- to 20-degree angle.
The bullet created a five-centimetre furrow and, as a result, bone chips were sent into the brain causing it to swell. Wilkes died in hospital four days after being shot.
Defence lawyer Brent Bagnall plans to call Shannon to testify today before the defence rests its case.
Closing arguments are expected on Monday or Tuesday.
This is the second trial for Shannon after he appealed following the first trial.