Verma Trial: Accused killer’s cousin admits he lied to police in Kelowna murder trial

Key Crown witness in the Joelon Verma trial says he initially withheld information from the RCMP

  • Sep. 26, 2013 7:00 p.m.

Brittney Irving was setting up a 70 pound drug deal in the days before her murder.

The cousin of accused killer Joelon Verma admits he lied to police when he was first questioned in their investigation into Brittney Irving’s disappearance.

Under cross examination, Jason Labonte agreed with defence lawyer Alexander Watt that he told police that he didn’t have contact with Verma after Verma left his Rutland home on April 6, 2010.

“And that was a lie?” asked Watt.

“Yes, sir,” said Labonte.

Labonte also told police on April 21, 2010 that he had never met Irving.

“And that was a lie,” said Watt.

“Yes, sir,” said Labonte.

Earlier, Labonte agreed he knew it was important to tell the truth to police.

“Yet you lied four times in the first statement to police,” said Watt, who earlier highlighted other examples of lying.

“Yes, I did.”

Labonte later revealed those details he initially withheld from police and testified earlier this week that he had met Irving before she was at his home with Verma that day.

The pair stowed bags and a box, believed to contain marijuana, in his garage before leaving separately.

Later that day, Labonte testified that he was contacted by Verma, asking for help getting out of the bush.

“Did you ask him how he got there?” asked Watt.

“No,” said Labonte.

You drove up the back roads to help him without asking a “single, solitary question?” asked Watt incredulously.

“He called for my help. He’s my cousin. I helped him,” said Labonte.

Labonte agreed that when he got to the spot off McCulloch Forest Service Road where Verma was waiting, it “didn’t look like he was stuck.”

Watt continued to question Labonte, asking why he didn’t give Verma grief for dragging him in the bush when there was no “evidence” of being stuck, with Labonte later saying, “I didn’t embarrass him by telling him he’d got stuck in a crappy Ford truck.”

Verma had been driving another man’s truck, the court has heard.

Watt also revisited earlier testimony by Labonte, suggesting Labonte had testified that “Mr. Verma was going to kill Ms. Irving for the Hells Angels.”

Labonte agreed.

Irving was last seen alive April 6, 2010, the day she was brokering a large marijuana deal. Her body was discovered on McCulloch Forest Service Road—not far from where Labonte said he pulled Verma out—on April 26. She had been shot four times.

Verma is currently on trial for first degree murder.

By Cheryl Wierda, Capital News contributor

Week 3:

Accused killer told police he didn’t know what happened to Kelowna’s Irving, Sept. 23, 2013

Accused killer stuck in bush near Kelowna murder scene, Sept. 25, 2013

 

Just Posted

Kelowna students awarded for their heritage research

The Okanagan Regional Heritage Fair was held April 24

Kelowna Civic and Community Awards announced

The winners were announced tonight at the Kelowna Community Theatre

Kelowna dragon welcomed to the den

Lane Merrifield is the new dragon on Dragons’ Den

Lake Country man facing assault charges

A woman was seriously injured after an alleged aggravated assault on April 22

State of emergency issued for Mill Creek

Risk of flooding increases as runoffs from higher elevations reach the valley bottom in Kelowna

VIDEO: B.C. ‘escapologist’ stuns judges on Britain’s Got Talent

Matt Johnson says televised water stunt was closest he’s come to death

NAFTA talks hold Foreign Affairs Minister in Washington, substitute heads to NATO summit

NAFTA talks keeping Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland, sends substitute to NATO summit

Britain gives long-lost Franklin expedition ships to Canada, Inuit

Deeds to HMS Erebus and HMS Terror signed over to Canada and Inuit Heritage Trust

Grief over deadly Toronto van attack sinks in

Three days after rampage, people still gathering at memorial to lay flowers and honour victims

Liberals urged to tax e-commerce services like Netflix

Trudeau has been adamant that his government wouldn’t increase taxes on online subscriptions

Why some B.C. daycares didn’t opt in to subsidy program

Deadline passes for program aimed at laying foundation for universal child care

WATCH: Moms Stop The Harm respond to opioid crisis

Someone asked her if she does the work for her son. McBain said: “No, actually. I do it for your son.”

Haley Blais tackles social norms through music tour

Haley Blais encourages people not to be discouraged by social norms and to be who they are

Been a long day? Here’s cute puppies in training

Group is training next batch of assistance dogs at Vancouver International Airport

Most Read