“He looked like he had a bunch of regrets in his eyes”

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Murder trial hears of fight before fatal stabbing

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The jury that heard a second degree murder trial on Friday got a very different version of what sparked a fatal stabbing on the shared patio of a Kingsway duplex in the wee hours of September 15, 2018.

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The jury heard on Wednesday of a face-to-face confrontation between an angry neighbor, Theresa Grasley, and murder victim Charles St. Jean.

The court heard earlier that St. Jean had placed himself in front of the woman and Marc-André Leduc during a confrontation.

Leduc testified that St. Jean threw a cigarette at the woman’s head – which led Tyler Sels to leave the door of the women’s unit, fatally stabbing him and injuring Leduc and Stephanie Martin.

However, another witness, Witness Danny Charron, gave a very different version of events that night.

Charron told the court that Grasley blocked the return path to the host portion of the shared bridge, preventing several people from descending from his section and returning to a celebration of a life event after a cigarette break.

The angry woman started pulling Michelle Turcotte’s hair, he said, and started hitting her, which led to a fight.

“After yelling at me for the first time, she started yelling at the group of girls in front of us, including grabbing one of the girls by the hair and started fighting with them,” Charron said. “It was Stéphanie (Martin), Lexi Kennedy, Michelle Turcotte and a fourth …

“So Theresa grabs Michelle by the hair and starts punching her. That’s when most of the girls got involved and started fighting Miss Theresa.

At this point, Charron said Sels was out of the unit.

“That’s when our whole group went to arrest them and that’s when a fight broke out,” he said.

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Charron said Sels and St. Jean clashed.

“I saw (Sels) punching, but I didn’t know what was going on. In five, 10 seconds, that’s when Mr. Charles fell to the ground and there was blood everywhere.

Charron was testifying on the third day of the Sels second degree murder trial.

Sels, 23, pleaded not guilty to second degree murder in the death of St. Jean, 27, of aggravated assault with a knife injuring Martin and assault with a weapon (knife) injuring Leduc .

What is not at issue in the trial, the jury was told on Tuesday, is that Sels used a knife to stab the three people.

An autopsy conducted in Saint-Jean revealed that two of the stab wounds had driven six inches deep into his chest, one puncturing a lung while another in the lower chest exposed part of his small intestine. The cause of death was determined to be multiple stab wounds which resulted in excessive blood loss.

The Crown expects to call 40 witnesses during the four-week trial.

Assistant District Attorney Terry Waltenbury said two key issues in the trial will be what caused Sels and whether Sels used the knife under justified circumstances. He said that as far as the Crown was concerned, “there was no justification”.

Charron said when Saint-Jean fell and it was obvious he was in great distress, everyone dispersed. Grasley, Sels, and the other man from the other unit, meanwhile, returned.

Charron said he walked over to the woman’s door, kicked her and saw Sels in the living room holding a knife.

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“I watched Mr. Sels pace around the sofa with a blade in hand,” he said. “He looked like he had a bunch of regrets in his eyes. He looked scared. He then entered a back hallway with the knife. He came back from there with the knife. He entered what I assumed was a bedroom. I (then) closed the (wooden) door and kept it closed.

Charron said that St. John, meanwhile, was receiving cardiopulmonary resuscitation and he noticed that some of St. John’s intestines had come out, so he tried to help him by keeping them inside.

He said Greater Sudbury Police officers arrived within 10 minutes.

Charron said Grasley and Sels entered the host’s living room earlier that night and was told to leave after making an inappropriate comment about the young man for whom the celebration of life was taking place.

He added that just before that, Grasley said he was dressed well and asked if he was gay, then attempted to take his socks off, which he found strange.

In addition, the woman told her that there were a lot of handbags in the residence and that she was going to steal some of them. She also told him that she was going to use a scooter to crash into some of the many vehicles parked outside the building.

Charron added that when Grasley later blocked off the middle of the bridge with a chair and screen door, preventing several people at the event from returning to the other side, he politely asked him to let them pass.

“She looked at me and said to ‘shut my mouth’, called me crazy and ‘don’t touch me’,” he recalls. “I didn’t touch her.”

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Charron said Sels didn’t say anything as he stood in the doorway while Grasley blocked the bridge.

On cross-examination, however, Hamilton defense attorney Michael Puskas showed Charron his initial statement to police in which he indicated that Sels said certain things just prior to the knife incident.

“Obviously I heard him say he didn’t want any trouble either,” said Charron, who added that Sels also said “she is dying. She is dying. . Leave her alone.”

“I remember it, yeah,” Charron said.

Also testified on Friday Martin, the girlfriend of the young man who died earlier in the week and for whom the celebration of life was held.

“I didn’t get much sleep (that week),” she said, her voice breaking as she began to testify. “I spent a lot of time in the hospital holding her hand. It was a very difficult week for me.

Martin, who was one of the few non-Boston Pizza staff at the event (her boyfriend had worked at the restaurant) said she had just arrived and was in the living room showing photos of people on her cell phone from a music festival she and her boyfriend had attended.

She said that’s when Grasley, whom she didn’t know, approached her and said, ‘I’ll never understand you kids. You come to a party and you are on the phone.

Martin said she remembered the woman “looking at my phone and saying something really inappropriate to me. That’s when I got out.

Martin also recalled briefly meeting a young man in his twenties with whom the woman was in the event host’s living room, and that he had a tattoo of a cross or dagger under his right eye.

This young man, according to Leduc, who testified Wednesday, was Sels.

The trial continues on Monday.

[email protected]

Twitter: @HaroldCarmichae

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