The man accused of trying to kill police during a high speed 2012 shootout will have to wait until the new year to hear final submissions at his trial.
Michael Ellis’s trial has gone on hiatus, this time so Crown counsel can incorporate testimony from a defence witness into their closing arguments.
It’s an understandable break from proceedings. In the last day of trial, Ellis’s friend Shawn Wysynski testified that he was the gunman in the July 31, 2012 shootout with police. Ellis, who is standing trial on 22 charges, five of which are attempted murder, was merely a pawn in his plans.
His testimony, which can’t be used against him for any purpose other than perjury charges because of provisions in the Charter as well as the Canada Evidence Act, contradicts weeks worth of previous testimony offered by Crown counsel.
Through the many witnesses they called to the stand, they pieced together a narrative where Ellis drove maniacally on a path from West Kelowna to Vernon, orchestrating car jackings and nearly killing police and civilians alike with a spray of bullets.
Wysynski, however, claimed that Ellis drove in that fashion because he had threatened to shoot him.
“If any of you other f—ers think you can outrun a bullet, try it,” he recalled telling Collins and Ellis. “If you bail, I’m shooting. We’re in this together and we’ll get out of it together.”
Wysynski told the court that he was the ringleader and that nobody else in the car ever handled a gun.
“To me it seemed like I was in charge and everyone knew it at the time,” he said.
Crown Counsel Murray Kaay drew attention to details that didn’t match with previous testimony, such as references to the tattoos on Ellis’s arms.
One of the earlier witnesses remembered seeing someone with sleeves, and Wysynski only has a tattoo on his wrist.
Kaay also asked Wysynski why he never took responsibility for these crimes earlier.
To that Wysynski replied that he only spoke to the charges presented to him—attempted robbery and robbery—and everything else wasn’t germane to the conversation at hand.
Lawyers will discuss their availability for submissions Jan. 5, and a new court date will be set at that point.