Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Skipping out on cab fares proves costly for man, 46

From the Kingston Whig-Standard Online:

A 46-year old man who developed an aversion to paying for his taxi rides has been sentenced to jail for 26 days and placed on probation for a year.

In addition, Samuel W. Parkinson was ordered Friday to pay the $383.90 he owes taxi drivers in Kingston and Ottawa after he pleaded guilty in Kingston's Ontar io Court of Justice to two counts of transportation fraud and violating a police-issued release undertaking by failing to keep the peace and be of good behaviour.

Justice Judith Beaman was told that Parkinson committed the first fraud on March 16 when he hired a Blue Line Taxi in Ottawa and had the cabbie drive him to Gananoque.

Upon arrival, however, Parkinson got out of the cab and disappeared into Gananoque's Bell Tower Mall, according to assistant Crown attorney John Skoropada, leaving the cab driver on the hook for the $370 fare.

Skoropada said Parkinson was subsequently arrested for the crime but police released him without requiring him to seek bail from a justice of the peace. Instead, he signed an undertaking agreeing to obey the law while waiting for his day in court.

On Nov. 1, however, Beaman was told Parkinson repeated his crime, albeit for a much smaller amount, this time with an Amey's Taxi in Kingston.

Skoropada said Parkinson took a trip from Division Street to College Street, running up $13.90 on the meter. The judge was told he was more brazen the second time around, however. When he got to where he wanted to go, Skoropada said, he got out of the cab, told the driver, "I'm not paying," and left.

As a result, Parkinson ended up spending 34 days in pretrial custody before entering his pleas and his defence lawyer, John Dillon, said his client's wife finally decided she'd had enough and left him.

Dillon also told the judge Parkinson suffered abuse as a youth in the Maritimes and is currently in therapy where "he hopes to get to the bottom of his criminal behaviour."

Parkinson had been in Ottawa looking for a job, according to his lawyer, when he committed the first fraud.

Dillon said his client didn't have any money to get home to Brockville but he hoped when he got into the cab in Ottawa that a friend in Gananoque would pay for his ride. Unfortunately, the friend wasn't home, according to Dillon.

The defence lawyer offered no explanation for his client's reprisal of the offence last month but the judge was assured that Parkinson wants to make restitution.

"I want to get out and grab this right by the horns and get my life straightened out," Parkinson told her.

Beaman agreed to accept the lawyers' joint recommendation on sentencing, but she didn't sound optimistic.

"You have an unbelievably bad record," she told him, for like offences, violence and drugs.


Copyright © 2010 The Whig Standard

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Letter to the Taxi Commission

Please click here to read a letter to the Taxi Commission from our editor, Roy Ambury.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Crown drops accessory charge

From the Kingston Whig-Standard Online:

By Sue Yanagisawa

A charge of accessory after the fact to murder was withdrawn Monday in Kingston's Ontario Court of Justice against the girlfriend of Richard E. Smith, three days after Smith was found not guilty of the 2007 murder of Kingston cab driver David Krick.

Laura Clow, 42, was present in the 117 Carruthers Ave. apartment she shared with Smith, 34, on the night of June 17, 2007, when Kingston Police tried to force their way in to prevent what they believed was the destruction of evidence.

About 16 hours after the murder, Smith's neighbours told police about seeing a man in his apartment's bathroom burning what they believed -- and what subsequently proved to be -- strips of cloth.

It was Clow, wearing only pyja ma bottoms, who finally opened the apartment door to officers past midnight that night after they tried to kick it in, having had no luck with banging on doors and windows and loudly announcing their presence. Jurors at Smith's trial were told Smith and Clow were the only occupants of the apartment.

Smith, a parolee at the time, was still subject until late November 2007 to a four-year, eight-month sentence for the knifepoint abduction, sexual assault and robbery of a woman in Milton, Ont. He wasn't charged with the fatal stabbing of 50-year-old David Krick until October 2007, when he was already back in custody on an unrelated charge.

Clow was soon after charged with being an accessory after the fact to the murder, although there were indications during Smith's trial that they were estranged by then.

With his jury acquittal at the end of a five-week trial in Superio r Court, however, assistant Crown attorney Janet O'Brien said in withdrawing the charge against Clow that there was no prospect of a conviction.


Copyright © 2010 The Whig Standard

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Jury finds man not guilty

From the Kingston Whig-Standard Online:

By Sue Yanagisawa

After three years behind bars awaiting trial, the man accused of murdering Amey's taxi driver David Krick is free.

Richard Edmund Smith, 34, was tried for second-degree murder over the past five weeks in Superior Court in connection with Krick's June 2007 stabbing death.

Friday morning, at 11:07, the foreman of his jury stood and announced that the verdict was not guilty.

The victim's family, sitting in the spectators' benches, looked shocked.

They believe the right man was on trial: Krick's 73-year-old mother, Shirley Krick, fought tears and his sister Brenda's jaw literally dropped upon hearing the words, while her brother, Raymond, and sister-in-law, Robyn Lawlor, sat silent.

Staff Sgt. Bill Kennedy of the Kingston Police clearly disagreed with the jury's verdict.

Kennedy headed the police department's major case unit at the time of Krick's murder on June 17, 2007, and led the investigation that resulted in Smith's arrest four months later.

After the jury and Justice Douglas Belch left the court, as officers went to the prisoner's dock to remove Smith's handcuffs and leg shackles, Kennedy exploded. Addressing himself to Const. Jim Lindsay, the police officer assigned to court house security, Kennedy growled: "Let him go. Let the killer go, Jimmy."

"I'm absolutely disgusted," Kennedy then announced, adding to Smith: "Go out and do it again."

As Smith left the Frontenac County Court House with his lawyers and walked through the parking lot, Kennedy called after him to enjoy his freedom because David Krick won't be enjoying his. Smith, head down, didn't respond.

Krick's family had already left, walking slowly but with dignity away from the court house, their disappointment palpable.

Even Smith's lawyer, Mary-Jane Kingston was touched by their situation, observing that Shirley Krick and her daughter are "wonderful people."

The two women faithfully attended almost every day of Smith's preliminary hearing and trial, absenting themselves only during those parts that involved graphic evidence of the injuries sustained by their son and brother.

Jury deliberations in Canada are secret, so no one will ever know how the verdict was reached, but before they were sequestered Thursday night and taken to a local hotel, jurors had sent notes to the judge five times requesting a recap of specific bits of witness testimony.

Their sixth and final question, asking what Dawhlia Martin-Chatterton said Smith was wearing when she was out with him the night of June 16, 2007, into the early hours of June 17, was answered by Belch at 10:35 a.m. yesterday, 20 minutes before they arrived at their verdict.

Belch told them Martin-Chatterton testified, "he was wearing a sweater. I don't recall the colour. It was like a knit sweater. It had sleeves."

Both lawyers and the judge had already told jurors that the case would come down to a matter of identity and credibility. The forensic evidence gathered during the investigation provided no direct link between Smith and the murdered taxi driver.

The Crown presented a largely circumstantial case that placed Smith a few blocks from the spot where Krick's stolen taxi was found a little less than an hour after its discovery.

There were also two instances of Smith's conduct the day of the murder that, in the estimation of police and assistant Crown attorneys John Skoropada and Elisabeth Foxton, cast him in a suspicious light: Smith's ready and uncorroborated explanation for his presence on Palace Road between 7:28 and 7:43 a.m. on a Father's Day Sunday and his burning of strips of cloth in his bathroom for over an hour with the lights off later that night.

Key pieces of the Crown's case were also problematic. The identification of Smith in the prisoner's dock at trial by Const. Lester Tang, was weakened by his failure to make it earlier at the preliminary hearing.

Tang said that Smith was the man he'd seen running from the parking lot off Macpherson Avenue where Krick's taxi was found minutes before 7 a.m. the morning of the murder. But he also described that man as having a round face and appearing well fed when other witnesses who knew Smith at the time said he was skinny and looked like a drug user.

Likewise, Holly Holland, a recovering crack cocaine addict, who called in an anonymous tip to Amey's Taxi stand implicating Smith in the murder on June 30, 2007, admitted she was on a drug binge with him when he confessed the murder to her.

Smith's defence lawyer, Gregory Leslie, suggested to jurors her mind and memory played tricks on her in her drug-addled condition and implied, in the alternative, that a criminal charge against her was dropped in Nova Scotia after she gave her statement.

He never put that question to Holland, however, suggesting it instead to Staff Sgt. Kennedy, who testified he wasn't aware the charge had been dropped.

There were things that the jurors weren't allowed to know during the trial.

Defence lawyer Leslie questioned both Dawhlia Martin-Chatterton, the woman who'd been with Smith the night before the murder and into the early hours of that Father's Day Sunday, and Holly Holland, who said she'd bought drugs from him and done drugs with him a number of times, about their impressions of his client's character.

Both agreed with Leslie they'd never seen his client with a knife. Martin-Chatterton also agreed that he'd always been "courteous" around her. Holland, when asked if she'd ever seen him violent or threatening said, "no".

There was no indication that either witness would have known -- and the jury wasn't told -- that Smith, who's originally from Hamilton, has been violent in the past.

He was convicted in 2003, in Milton, after he accosted a woman in the parking lot of a donut shop, forced her into her car at knifepoint, drove to a secluded spot and sexually assaulted her. Afterward, he forced his victim to drive to an ATM and withdraw cash for him from her account before he let her go.

He still hadn't completed the four-year, eight-month sentence he received for sexual assault with a weapon, forcible confinement, robbery, possession of property obtained by crime and driving while disqualified in October 2007 when he was charged with Krick's murder, and he wouldn't complete it until a month later on Nov. 30, 2007.

Nor was that Smith's first crime. His record dates to 1993 and includes property crimes, six convictions for failing to comply with conditions attached to various forms of release, impaired driving and domestic violence.

Jurors were told during his trial that Smith was hanging out in bars, using and selling drugs and cheating on his girlfriend. They weren't told that he was on parole, with conditions that prohibited him from drinking or using drugs and required him to report all of his intimate relationships because of his history of domestic violence.

The jury additionally wasn't told about the arguments in their absence, that the numerous delays -- with the exception of a three-day voir dire, a trial within a trial, on the admissibility of evidence -- were to accommodate defence lawyer Leslie. Nor did they know that he'd intended to make an issue in his closing argument of the Crown's decision not to call Smith's girlfriend at the time of the murder as a witness.

Leslie argued, in the absence of the jury, that Laura Clow, who shared the apartment at 117 Carruthers Ave. with Smith and was present when police seized burned cloth from their apartment's bathroom was "an important witness," but he chose not to put her on the stand himself.

Justice Belch ultimately forbid Leslie from suggesting the Crown was remiss in not calling Clow and told him if his order was ignored he would instruct them not to speculate on evidence they had not heard.

Jurors also didn't know that on Oct. 29, the Friday they were left in their jury room for almost seven hours without an explanation, it was because Leslie was talking to his client about pleading guilty to the homicide in return for a deal on sentencing.

After the verdict came in, Leslie told the Whig-Standard, "it was Richard's decision not to take the deal," to which co-counsel Mary- Jane Kingston quickly added "he can't plead to something he didn't do."

Leslie said, "that's what he said. That was his decision and he made the right decision."


Copyright © 2010 The Whig Standard

Friday, November 12, 2010

No verdict after first day of jury deliberation

From the Kingston Whig-Standard Online:

By Sue Yanagisawa

The jury on the second-degree murder trial of the man accused of fatally stabbing Amey's Taxi driver David Wayne Krick in June 2007 was sequestered at 8:30 p.m. Thursday without a verdict.

Richard Edmund Smith, 34, has been on trial for the crime over the past five weeks in Kingston's Superior Court of Justice. In that time, the seven women and five men chosen to decide his case have heard testimony from 26 witnesses, including a woman who claims Smith confessed the murder to her a month after it happened.

Yesterday, following 3 1/2 hours of instruction from Justice Douglas Belch on the law and its application -- interrupted by a 30minute break to observe Remembrance Day -- the case was turned over to the jury to decide.

They must now be kept together, apart from all outside influences, until they reach a verdict. Consequently, they were taken from the court house to a hotel for the night by jury constables and will be brought back this morning to resume their deliberations.

In instructing them, Justice Belch told them that while he is the judge of the law, they are the judges of the facts and "as judges of the facts, your first duty is to decide what are the facts in this case."

Belch said "the evidence does not have to answer every question raised in this case." They must determine, however, whether it satisfies them of Smith's guilt or leaves them with a reasonable doubt that would require them to acquit.

The judge also observed that "this is a case that has a lot of circumstantial evidence," and explained what that means using the example of a raincoat and umbrella. If a person looks outside and sees that it's raining, he told them, that would be direct evidence of the weather. But if they see someone come in from outside wearing a raincoat and carrying an umbrella that would be indirect or circumstantial evidence of rain.

"In making your decision," Belch instructed jurors, "both kinds of evidence count. The law treats both equally." He also admonished them to use their common sense and experience in making their assessments.

Belch touched on the very limited contribution science and forensics were able to make in the case presented to jurors and said, "it seems to me, and both counsel have said this, that this case is all about identity."


Copyright © 2010 The Whig Standard

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Lawyers make final pitch

From the Kingston Whig-Standard online:

By Sue Yanagisawa

"This is a whodunit," the jury on Richard Smith's second-degree murder case was told Wednesday by assistant Crown attorney John Skoropada. "Who killed David Krick?" he asked rhetorically: "I'm telling you Richard Smith killed David Krick."

He then reminded them of evidence they'd heard at the start of the trial from 28-year-old Dawhlia Martin-Chatterton, who testified that she'd spent the Saturday evening of June 16, 2007, in a bar with Smith, leaving with him and another man, identified in court only as Chris, at closing time in the early hours of June 17, 2007.

Martin-Chatterton told jurors she had sex with both men at Chris's apartment before she took a cab home to South Barlett Street. She recalled that he didn't want her to go and told her he'd come by her place later.

She also said that, upon waking around noon that Father's Day Sunday, she found a message Smith had left on her answering machine just after 4 a.m. indicating he'd made good on that promise but hadn't been able to wake her.

Skoropada reminded jurors that Krick, 50, who drove for Amey's Taxi was dispatched to pick up his last known fare from the YMCA parking lot off Wright Crescent about two and a half hours later that morning, at 6:33 a.m.

Jurors heard during the trial that the panic button in his cab was pushed about 10 minutes later and that Krick managed to make a 911 call before he was found on the sidewalk on Durham Street, stabbed 31 times and without vital signs.

Krick's cab, Amey's taxi No. 71, meanwhile, had been stolen and driven back to within blocks of the spot where he'd picked up his last fare. It was found abandoned in a parking lot off Macpherson Avenue and Sir John A. Macdonald Boulevard and the police officers who made the initial discovery both saw a man bolt from the area, minutes before 7 a.m. But they weren't able to catch him.

Police were still in the vicinity looking for the runner when Smith roused the suspicions of Amey's cab driver Jai Scouten, who pointed him out, walking south on Palace Road, to Const. Edward Gaulton.

Scouten said he became curious about Smith because he drove past him three times and "he refused to look at me." He testified that he pulled alongside the pedestrian and told him "we were looking for a guy," without disclosing why. Smith, jurors were told, responded by volunteering that he was coming from his employer's place on Wright Crescent, adding that he didn't know the address, which Scouten also found odd.

Gaulton testified that he stopped Smith at 7:43 a.m. after talking to Scouten, searched and questioned him and received the same information that Scouten had, plus the name of his employer -- Harry Buttle -- and Smith's claim that he'd gone to Buttle's apartment to enquire about work. He told jurors he didn't believe Smith, but the clothes Smith was wearing didn't match the suspect description -- light-coloured or faded jeans and a black, long-sleeved jersey. He also didn't see any evidence of blood or injury to indicate Smith might have been involved in a knife attack.

Buttle died before the trial began, but jurors heard his recorded testimony from Smith's preliminary hearing . He testified that he was away from his apartment between 7 and 9:30 a.m. that morning. He said Smith later told him that he'd dropped by to enquire about jobs and thought it "strange," in that he'd never done it before.

Skoropada questioned Smith's claim of an early morning visit to his employer and told jurors "it defies logic that someone who's been out partying until at least 4 a.m. on a Sunday morning wouldn't have called ahead."

He suggested to them Smith's explanation was a lie, "to deflect suspicion away from himself about why he's on Palace Road."

He also reminded them that they'd heard evidence about Smith having friends on Cliff Crescent, a few blocks south of where Krick's cab was found, and said Buttle testified at the preliminary hearing that Smith kept extra clothes at the home of one of those friends and in Buttle's van, which was parked on Wright Crescent.

The Crown prosecutor directed jurors to a map that's been tacked to the wall opposite them throughout the trial and asked them to take note of where David Krick was found, behind the "no-tell motel" that housed the now-defunct XXX Sports Bar, which Smith frequented. He also asked them to note where Buttle and Smith's friend on Cliff Crescent lived, and the spot where Smith was stopped on Palace Road almost an hour after police saw a suspect fleeing the vicinity of Krick's abandoned cab. Skoropada observed, gesturing toward the map, that "Richard Smith lives in the middle of this."

In his closing, Smith's defence lawyer, Gregory Leslie, invited the jury to reject key evidence from two of the Crown's witnesses in the trial: Const. Lester Tang, who identified Smith in the prisoner's dock as the man he'd seen crouching and then running from the An Clachan parking lot off Macpherson the morning of the murder; and Holly Holland, an admitted crack cocaine addict who called in an anonymous tip to Amey's Taxi stand on July 30, 2007, implicating Smith.

Holland was in Quinte Detention Centre when Krick was killed, but testified that immediately after her release, she went on a drug binge with Smith and another man named George at an apartment on Joseph Street. She claims that Smith told her while they smoked crack together that he'd killed "the cab driver" and afterward ran into an apartment building to escape. She said he told her he didn't get much money and speculated that he was trying to impress her.

Leslie suggested, however, that after days of drug use without sleep or food or any intake of fluids, Holland's memory played tricks on her. He theorized that her mind, under the influence of drugs, imported a conversation about the murder she'd overheard between strangers when she first arrived at the Joseph Street apartment.

The defence lawyer also questioned Tang's ability to make any identification based on a glimpse of the runner's face that Tang estimated had lasted only a second. He reminded jurors that Tang didn't identify his client during his preliminary hearing and said at this point "he might be lying, and then again he might not be." Leslie suggested the constable's recall was tainted by seeing a photograph of his client in the newspaper following Smith's arrest in October 2007.

Likewise, he largely dismissed the evidence of his client's neighbours, who testified about seeing a man burning what they believed were strips of cloth in Smith's bathroom for about an hour beginning around 11 p.m. on June 17, 2007.

"You might say to yourself, 'that's weird, that's a bit weird what Richard Smith was doing that night.' Fine, think that," Leslie told them. "I think it's weird." But it doesn't matter, he said, because the forensics expert who examined the material police retrieved from the apartment's toilet and sink couldn't tell them anything more than the material included fragments of denim.

Skoropada, in his closing, said the absence of forensics in this case isn't surprising because this is real life, not CSI Miami. He noted that in addition to not finding Smith's fingerprints in Krick's taxi, for instance, the forensic experts weren't able to identify any belonging to Krick.

But Leslie emphasized repeatedly to jurors that the onus lies with the Crown to prove his client committed the murder and "Richard Smith doesn't have to prove anything."

Skoropada used the analogy of a "constellation effect," and told the jury that when you look at one or two stars in a constellation "you have no idea what you're looking at," but when you look at them all together it becomes obvious.

Leslie borrowed the Crown's analogy comparing components of the evidence to stars in the Big Dipper and told jurors, "this huge constellation of factors that pull everything in to convince you he's guilty rests on Holly Holland." If you take out Holland and Lester Tang, Leslie told them, "you might think it's the Big Dipper, but you wouldn't be sure, and in Canadian law you have to be sure."

"I'm not going to tell you Richard Smith is a nice guy," Leslie said. "We know he sold drugs. He sold drugs to Holly (Holland)."

He warned them, as well, that emotion can play no part in their deliberations.

"What happened to Mr. Krick is horrible," he said. "He did not deserve what happened to him. But you cannot say, 'someone has to pay the price.' "


Copyright © 2010 The Whig Standard

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Defence presents no evidence

From the Kingston Whig-Standard Online:

By Sue Yanagisawa

Jurors on the second-degree murder trial of the man accused of fatally stabbing Kingston taxi driver David Wayne Krick learned on Tuesday that they've heard all of the testimony that will be presented in the case.

Their work, which is to assess the evidence of witnesses and decide if it convinces them beyond a reasonable doubt that Richard E. Smith committed the crime, will begin in earnest on Thursday.

The 12-person jury, seven women and five men, was sent home early last Friday morning, after learning that the Crown had completed its case and would present no more evidence.

Toronto defence lawyer Gregory Leslie indicated at the close of the Crown's case that he wasn't prepared at that time to indicate whether he would call witnesses.

Jurors were instructed to return late Tuesday morning to begin hearing the defence case.

When the trial resumed, however, Leslie informed the court that after consulting with his Kingston co-counsel, Mary Jane Kingston, "it is the position of the defence the Crown has not proven its case beyond a reasonable doubt and the defence will not be calling any evidence."

That left Justice Douglas Belch with a scheduling question, since the lawyers for the Crown and defence still have to present their summations to the jury and Remembrance Day, which is a court holiday, falls on Thursday.

Belch explained to jurors that his charge will follow the lawyer's summations, instructing jurors on the law and how to apply it in this case. Once it's delivered, they must remain together until they have a verdict. They can't go home.

Belch told jurors he appreciated there might be some among them with Remembrance Day commitments and said he would never order them to sit on that day. But he also noted that the November observance is not a statutory holiday.

In the end, he left it up to the jurors to decide how they wanted to proceed.

Belch outlined several possible options in addition to beginning deliberations on Remembrance Day, including beginning them on Friday with the possibility of being sequestered into Saturday, or taking a break in proceedings until Monday.

The judge estimated that his charge will take about three hours and he warned jurors that their discussions in the jury room will probably be lengthy.

He advised them to pack small overnight bags of necessities, such as medications, and to bring them with them on the day of his charge, just in case they have to be sequestered overnight at a hotel.

He then sent them to their jury room to make their first decision in the case.

They emerged less than an hour later after sending word to the judge that they were willing to sit on Remembrance Day and wanted to get on with their task.

They were then instructed to return at 2 p.m. today to hear the closing arguments of the Crown and defence lawyers, with the defence speaking last since no defence witnesses were called.

Justice Belch will then instruct the jury Thursday morning and send them immediately to their jury room to decide the case.

Copyright © 2010 The Whig Standard

Saturday, November 06, 2010

November 2010

Click here to download this month's issue.

Roger Waters - The Wall 2010

Prosecution turns over Smith case to defence

From the Kingston Whig-Standard Online:

By Sue Yanagisawa

Jurors on the murder trial of Richard E. Smith were told Friday morning that the Crown has completed its case and will call no more evidence against the 34-year-old, who's accused of killing Amey's cab driver David Wayne Krick in 2007.

The trial now moves to a phase in which the defence has the opportunity, though no obligation, to call evidence. Smith's lawyer, Gregory Leslie of Toronto, has asked that the jury return Tuesday, when they'll learn whether they will hear from any more witnesses before they're asked to deliberate.

Jurors began hearing testimony in the case on Oct. 12 when they were told about the Father's Day Sunday morning when the panic button was pushed inside Krick's cab and a subsequent 911 call he was able to make, asking for help because he'd been stabbed.

Amey's Taxi dispatcher Kenneth Osborn testified that Krick had been dispatched to pick up a fare in the YMCA parking lot on Wright Crescent at 6:30 a.m. on June 17, 2007. He estimated it was 10 minutes later that the emergency signal from car 71 registered on his monitor and he went to voice trying to contact Krick, without success. Osborn told jurors he was alerting other taxi drivers in the vicinity that a member of the fleet was in trouble when he received the call from police "asking about car 71 and Dave Krick."

Osborn said he didn't know at that time how they'd got the car number or Krick's name, but he immediately accessed the cab's GPS (Global Positioning System) history and discovered it was moving down Victoria Street.

He stayed on the line with police dispatch, relaying the cab's route as it turned west, then cut down College Street almost to Union before backtracking to Brock, eventually coming to a stop west of Sir John A. Macdonald Boulevard off Macpherson Avenue, in the parking lot of Queen's University's An Clachan apartment complex.

Krick, meanwhile, had been found by a fellow cab driver. He'd been stabbed 31 times and was lying across the sidewalk, partly on a lawn on Durham Street. He had no detectable vital signs, but a police officer and Amey's driver Shelley Scott, who both arrived very soon after his initial discovery, performed CPR on Krick until paramedics arrived and took him to hospital, where his chest was opened in an effort to save him.

However, forensic pathologist Dr. David Dexter, who performed Krick's autopsy the following day, told jurors that the pericardial sac around the 50-year-old cabby's heart had been cut; both of his lungs were collapsed by his wounds; and nine penetrating wounds he'd received had caused "extensive hemorrhage."

Dexter was unable to calculate the blood loss with accuracy, explaining that surgeons would have removed much of the fluid during their attempt to save Krick's life.

Dexter also suggested that due to the "relatively small entrance wounds" he found, Krick's external blood loss could have been much slower than his internal blood loss.

Jurors have also been told that as two Kingston Police cruisers turned onto Macpherson Avenue the morning of the stabbing -- just before they found Krick's cab -- Const. Lester Tang, who was driving the second cruiser, observed a man crouched suspiciously in the An Clachan parking lot between two vehicles. He testified that their eyes met and the man took off running.

Tang and Const. Mike Campbell, who was in the lead cruiser, gave chase after turning into the parking lot at 6:52 a.m., but were not able to catch the runner.

Tang, the only person to see the man's face, later looked at 925 mug shots without finding the runner, although he picked out photos of three individuals he thought bore some resemblance to the suspect.

Jurors were later told by Det. Shawn Bough -- who put the photo lineup together -- that Smith's picture had not been among those 925 images.

Jai Scouten, an Amey's cab driver who was cruising the area near the YMCA almost half an hour later, on the look out for the same runner for whom police were still searching, testified about a man walking south on Palace Road from Wright Crescent, who caught his attention because "I drove by him three times and he refused to look at me."

Scouten pulled over and spoke to the man, but said he became more suspicious when the stranger appeared to him to be a little too forthcoming, volunteering that he'd just been to the home of his employer on Wright Crescent to enquire about work.

Scouten told jurors that he pointed out the pedestrian -- Smith, as it happened -- to the first police constable he met farther along Palace Road.

Const. Edward Gaulton, who stopped Smith and talked to him around 7:43 a.m. after speaking to Scouten, was also suspicious of his explanation for his presence on Palace Road at the height of their man hunt.

Gaulton told jurors he patted down Smith, using the opportunity to scrutinize him for any trace of blood or sign of injury consistent with a knife attack. He testified that he saw neither and also noted that while Smith was in the suspect's range for height and build and had short hair like the man they were seeking, none of his clothing matched. The runner had been wearing blue jeans and Smith, 51 minutes after the sighting, was wearing beige pants.

Const. Tang, when he testified in the third week of Smith's trial, identified him in the prisoner's dock as the man he'd seen crouching for one or two seconds and then running from the An Clachan parking lot. But jurors also learned it was the first time Tang had ever made that identification, even though he'd previously testified at Smith's preliminary hearing late in 2009.

Smith's employer in June 2007, Harold (Harry) Buttle, died before the trial began. Jurors heard his preliminary hearing testimony, however, when he said he didn't see Smith the morning of the murder, but was later told by Smith that he'd come by the apartment to find out about jobs the following day.

Buttle, who was 64 at the time, said he found that odd. But he liked Smith and believed him. He disclosed, as well, that he sometimes drank with his helper and that they smoked cigarettes laced with cocaine together. Buttle mentioned several addresses where Smith had friends and had stayed during the time he knew him, including addresses on Cliff Crescent, just south of Macpherson Avenue.

Var ious forensic witnesses have also testified at the trial to date, but none of them have provided any link between Smith and the murdered cab driver. Fingerprint analysts found few useable prints in or on Krick's cab and the only two identified were eliminated as belonging to other cab drivers.

All of the blood found in the cab belonged to Krick and there was nothing to indicate how much, if any, might have got on his assailant. Likewise, none of the more than 10 knives collected by police was ever established to be the murder weapon.

Jurors have heard that the night after the murder, police tried to break down the door to Smith's apartment at 117 Carruthers Ave. without a warrant, after learning that a man had been seen in his bathroom burning what the next-door neighbours believed was fabric .

A hair, fibre and textile expert from the Centre for Forensic Sciences, later testified that she examined burned and unburned fabric fragments, fibres and yarns recovered from the apartment's toilet bowl and sink. She was able to determine that at least some of the material was denim, but wasn't able to say anything else about it.

Smith wasn't charged with the murder, jurors have been told, until October 2007 after police tracked down a woman who'd called in an anonymous tip to the Amey's Taxi stand two months earlier, on July 30.

She claims he admitted to her that he killed the cabby while she and Smith were bingeing on crack cocaine.


Copyright © 2010 The Whig Standard

Friday, November 05, 2010

Officer says he saw smoke

From the Kingston Whig-Standard online:

By Sue Yanagisawa

The Kingston Police officer who was in charge of the city's Major Case Unit in 2007 testified on Thursday that Richard Smith's apartment wasn't searched early in the investigation into cab driver David Krick's murder because he didn't have grounds for a search warrant.

Staff Sgt. William (Bill) Kennedy, who has since moved to head up a platoon of uniformed patrol officers, told jurors that he and other officers were prepared, in the early hours of June 18, 2007, to force their way into the 117 Carruthers Ave. apartment Smith then shared with his girlfriend. But, he said, "my intention was to stop the burning of the evidence that was going on there."

Under questioning by Smith's lawyer, Gregory Leslie, the staff sergeant said he believed "exigent circumstances" justified his entering the apartment without a warrant to collect what was left of fabric that was reportedly being burned in the bathroom. But he didn't have the authority to search the rest of the apartment for evidence, he said.

Kennedy also told Leslie he didn't attempt to get a telewarrant to authorize his entry that night because he feared the evidence would be completely destroyed in the one to five hours the process could take. Nor did he apply for a regular warrant the following day, because at that point, "I didn't believe we had the grounds to allege the offence that needed to be alleged."

Kennedy, who led the Kingston Police Major Case Unit for four years, was testifying at Smith's second-degree murder trial arising from the stabbing death of Amey's Taxi driver David Wayne Krick, who was 50 at the time of his death on June 17, 2007, Father's Day Sunday that year. Smith, 34, has pleaded not guilty to the crime.

Jurors were reminded again yesterday by Smith's defence lawyer, Leslie, that the 34-year-old wasn't charged with the murder until Oct. 11 that year, almost three months after it happened. Leslie also disclosed that his client was already in custody -- as a result of an arrest on Aug. 1 -- when the murder charge was laid.

Previous witnesses have alluded to a search warrant executed on 117 Carruthers, apartment No. 1, on Nov. 8, 2007 -- after Smith had been charged and almost four months after the murder. A plumber opened up traps on the drains at that time, but nothing linking Smith to Krick's fatal stabbing was recovered in the search.

A group of detectives and patrol officers led by Kennedy did enter Smith's apartment, approximately 18 hours after the murder, however. According to Kennedy, they went in around 12:30 a.m. on June 18, 2007, and remained there until 2:25 a.m.

Major Case Unit Det. Guy Forbes, who testified earlier in the trial, told jurors that he'd been trying to get a follow-up interview with Smith since late afternoon on the day of the murder.

Smith, jurors have heard, became a person of interest after a patrol officer found him walking on Palace Road at 7:43 a.m. not far from where the murdered taxi driver's cab had been discovered almost an hour earlier in a parking lot off MacPherson Avenue.

Police and taxis were still circulating in the area on the lookout for a six-foot man with short hair who'd been seen crouching between vehicles near the cab and then running from the parking lot in among the buildings of Queen's University's An Clachan apartment complex.

Smith, when he was stopped by Const. Edward Gaulton, was the right height and build and had short hair, but none of his clothes matched those of the runner, who'd been described as wearing a dark, long-sleeved jersey and light blue or faded jeans. Gaulton testified Smith was in beige pants, a red T-shirt and black ball hat and was carrying a green windbreaker.

Still, after failing to find Smith home at 4:20 p.m., Forbes returned to the Carruthers Avenue apartment around midnight. He told jurors he was unable to get a response from inside and was preparing to leave when a next-door neighbour told him a man had been burning what he and his wife believed was fabric in the bathroom of Smith's apartment.

Forbes relayed that information to Kennedy and Kennedy testified he arrived with other officers and "we were banging on the door, banging on the windows, yelling we were the police very loudly," but with no result.

Finally, he said he began kicking the door and other officers joined in until one of the triangular sections at the bottom cracked. He testified the door never budged on its hinges, but following the crack, "we heard a voice scream from inside and we could see a female running from the back telling us to stop."

He told jurors "we stopped," and the door was opened by Smith's girlfriend, wearing nothing but pyjama bottoms and crossing her arms over her chest.

Smith emerged from the back bedroom afterward wearing a housecoat and Kennedy said he didn't seem as upset as he would have expected.

Kennedy also said there was smoke hanging about a foot from the ceiling when they entered, which dissipated as officers came in and out over the two hours they were there. He recalled there were also a couple of small candles and some incense burning in the bathroom in the area of the sink and toilet, where jurors have already heard some fragments of charred fabric and fabric fibers, including small quantities of denim, were recovered.

Kennedy said the case against Smith didn't start to come together, however, until August, 2007, when the man with whom Smith had been staying on Joseph Street identified Holly Holland as the woman who'd spent several days in his apartment near the end of July, drug bingeing with him and Smith. Jurors were told that the man has since died.

Holland testified Wednesday that she and Smith were smoking crack cocaine together when he told her he'd stabbed the cab driver and she speculated that he was trying to impress her. She didn't care then, she admitted, because "once you do a hit of crack you'd sell your grandmother on the couch for another hit of crack." But after her drug of choice ran out and she'd returned home and slept off its residual affects, she told jurors her conscience couldn't handle knowing about a murder and doing nothing.

Consequently, she said she made an anonymous call to the Amey's Taxi stand on July 30, 2007, and supplied information to a dispatcher there that ultimately pointed investigators toward Smith.

Kennedy said "Holly was a dead end," when she'd been interviewed by detectives at Quinte Detention Centre earlier in July, before her drug binge with Smith. She was questioned originally, he said, on the suggestion of another potential informant and because she was a known crack addict.

Consequently, when the July 30 tip was relayed to the Major Case Unit, according to Kennedy, investigators thought the anonymous tipster might have been Smith's girlfriend.

Holland, meanwhile, had left Kingston with her uncle and cousins and returned to the East Coast.

Leslie asked if the staff sergeant was aware of Cape Breton Police withdrawing a probation violation against Holland on Nov. 19, 2007, more than a month after she gave a video-statement implicating Smith in Krick's murder.

"I wasn't," Kennedy told him. The case continues this morning at the Frontenac County Court House.


Copyright © 2010 The Whig Standard

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Man bragged about stabbing: witness

From the Kingston Whig-Standard online:

By Sue Yanagisawa

A woman who claims Richard Smith told her that he'd stabbed cab driver David Wayne Krick about a month after the murder -- while she and Smith smoked crack cocaine together -- was grilled Wednesday about her recollection of events.

Holly Holland, 27, remained firm in her belief that she didn't misunderstand or hallucinate Smith's admission, insisting at one point to defence lawyer Gregory Leslie: "I'm not delusional."

Holland was testifying in Kingston's Superior Court at Smith's second-degree murder trial on an allegation that he stabbed the 50-year-old Amey's cab driver to death on Father's Day three years ago. He's pleaded not guilty.

Krick was found lying on Durham Street around 6:45 a.m. on June 17, 2007. He'd been stabbed 31 times.

Amey's dispatcher Brian Nesbitt testified yesterday about a morning in July 2007 when he was helping to answer phones at the taxi stand and an anonymous woman called with a claim that she knew who the cab driver's killer was.

"She said he was bragging to people about it," Nesbitt recalled.

"She said his name was Richard S. She didn't say anything else. She didn't give a last name."

Nesbitt said the woman described the killer's location, using landmarks rather than an address. He told jurors she said he was on a street off Division Street, near a high school, with a gas station on the corner.

Nesbitt said there's only one high school in that area and the now-defunct Sunoco gas bar at the corner of Division and Joseph streets was the only service station in proximity.

He also recalled that the anonymous informant identified the killer's specific locale as "a grey building" and said he was in "No. 9," but he couldn't recall her indicating whether that number related to a room or an apartment.

Nesbitt said he asked the caller why she hadn't contacted police directly with her information and she told him "she'd recently been in jail or involved with the law," and didn't want to deal with them.

He wrote down everything she told him and relayed that information to Amey's Taxi owner Mark Greenwood.

Greenwood remembered he verbally reported everything his dispatcher had told him to Kingston Police and he was told they'd logged the tip, but he never actually gave them the notes Nesbitt jotted down.

Holland, who no longer lives in Kingston, told jurors she was the woman who made that anonymous call. Holland candidly admitted that she was addicted to crack cocaine at the time, but said she's currently clean.

"I haven't done any drugs in three years," she testified. "It seems longer."

When she came to Kingston late in 2006, however, she was fully addicted to crack, as well as subject to a two-year conditional sentence that had her on house arrest, as a result of a robbery conviction in Nova Scotia. Her sentence was transferred to Kingston to permit her to look after the home and family of an aunt, who'd been recently paralyzed and sustained brain damage in a car accident.

Holland said she was concerned about breaking the rules of her house arrest for about a week after arriving here, until she realized that her supervisor only called to check on her during the daytime, that she never called more than once and didn't call every day.

After that, she testified, "the nervousness wore off pretty quick" and she started testing her restrictions, becoming bolder after she was permitted to take a part-time job at Tim Hortons. Eventually, she found her way to XXX Sports Bar and Billiards, where she met Smith.

Holland agreed with defence lawyer Leslie that she immediately recognized him as a fellow drug user and recalled that they started talking about drugs soon after they met. She testified that she bought drugs from Smith many times.

Jurors learned Holland was at the home of another acquaintance, smoking crack, when the apartment was visited by police investigating a crime in the building. Holland, who wasn't supposed to be there, gave officers a false name. That got her arrested for obstruction up-o n their return and she ended up spending some time in Quinte Detention Centre in the summer of 2007.

Under questioning by assistant Crown attorney John Skoropada, Holland revealed that while she was in the provincial jail she was visited by two Kingston Police officers.

She couldn't remember their names, but recalled one was black and one was white and the white officer told her if she could provide them with any information about the murder of the cab driver "they could shorten my sentence."

Holland suggested the offer had appeal. "Quinte was terrible," she recalled. "The guards used to call me princess in there and the girls didn't like me."

She couldn't tell the officers anything, she said, because at that time she didn't know anything.

After she got out of jail, though, Holland said the first thing she did after cleaning her aunt's house was to look up a girlfriend hoping to score some crack.

Holland said her friend didn't have any drugs but knew where they could get some. The two of them travelled together to an apartment owned by "a big Lebanese guy" named George.

She recalled that they were met in the parking lot by Smith and that when they went inside the apartment, there were between five and seven men already there, all smoking crack and all strangers.

Holland told jurors that she and her friend bought some crack and shared it. She also said she was "pretty sure" the men were talking about the cab driver's murder when they entered and recalled them making "eye gestures" to each other that she interpreted as cautions that she shouldn't be allowed to overhear.

Eventually, she said, the men all left and her female friend left, but she remained.

Skoropada asked her why she didn't leave with her friend and Holland replied "she didn't have any drugs," but there were still drugs in George's apartment and she wanted to do them.

She doesn't know exactly how long she stayed there, but agreed with Leslie it could have been as long as four days. She overdosed at one point, after allowing herself to be injected with cocaine while smoking crack continuously without eating, drinking or sleeping.

She described the sensation of smoking crack as "a big release" on the exhale, and even though the rush lasts only seconds and cocaine costs about $100 a gram, she said "it's indescribable."

"As soon as you're done, you want another hit."

It was while smoking crack with Smith that he told her about stabbing Krick, she testified.

"He didn't tell me much," she said, just that he'd stabbed the cab driver "three or four times" and then ran into an apartment "and that he didn't get much money, something like that."

Asked why he'd told her, she said Smith was always trying to impress her.

Eventually, the drugs ran out at the Joseph Street apartment and Holland said she went home to her aunt and uncle's house and slept for more than a day.

When she woke, she said "it was too much for my conscience," but she couldn't tell police what she knew without admitting she'd been violating her house arrest.

Consequently, she called the taxi stand, she said, and she left Kingston not long afterward.

Copyright © 2010 The Whig Standard

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Expert can't pinpoint location of attack

From the Kingston Whig-Standard Online:

By Sue Yanagisawa

A senior forensic analyst and blood stain expert, who examined the taxi of murder victim David Krick and photographs of the sidewalk in front of 14 Durham St. where he was found stabbed 31 times, was unable to shed light on exactly what happened that Father's Day morning in and around Krick's cab.

David Sibley, a civilian attached to the OPP forensics unit in Orillia, was testifying Tuesday, at the trial of Richard Smith, 34, in Kingston's Superior Court.

Smith is charged with second-degree murder in the June 17, 2007, stabbing death of Krick, a 50-year-old Amey's Taxi driver. He pleaded not guilty to the crime four weeks ago when his trial began in front of a Superior Court jury.

Sibley testified that he found both "passive" blood stains and cast-off blood drops on the exterior of Krick's cab, but only "passive" blood stain patterns inside the cab, and most of those in the back seat area. He also explained to jurors that passive stains are created by blood droplets dripping from any "blood source," including the victim, his assailant or the weapon used in the murder.

Sibley said he wasn't able to determine where Krick and his assailant were located in the cab from the blood patterns he studied, nor could he estimate how long the attack lasted. He could only say that the Centre for Forensic Sciences had identified all of the blood samples collected from both the taxi and Durham Street as belonging to David Krick.

"I do an analysis, based on the blood that's there," he told jurors, under questioning by assistant Crown attorney Elisabeth Foxton.

"But just because blood isn't there," he added, "doesn't mean an event didn't happen."

Sibley described a series of passive blood drops captured in photographs of the sidewalk on Durham Street. The trail travelled in an easterly direction, he told jurors, veering toward the road at one point, and then back toward the inner edge of the sidewalk.

Jurors have already been told that Krick was found at one end of that trail, lying partly on the sidewalk and partly on the grass, his cellphone still in the hand of one outstretched arm.

It was there that one of his fellow drivers and a Kingston Police constable initiated CPR in an attempt to revive Krick before paramedics arrived.

Sibley wasn't asked to analyze the blood pattern evidence until 10 days after the murder, however, and the photographs from which he was given to work captured only the blood staining on the ground. He said he wasn't told exactly where Krick was found.

He described a large "drip pattern" at that end of the blood trail, however, where blood droplets fell on top of blood already on the ground, creating a distinctive spray pattern and indicating, he said, that the "blood source was there for a period of time".

Nearby, there was also a large contact stain on the sidewalk, created by a bloody surface pressing against the concrete and a pool of blood, which Sibley said was indicative of a blood source having been in that particular spot for a long period of time.

Sibley also examined blood on the exterior, rear passenger-side door of Krick's cab and testified the droplets had definitely fallen from above, flowed down the closed door and angled back in a way that suggested they'd been deposited before Krick's cab was stolen and driven west to a parking lot off Macpherson Avenue, on the other side of Sir John A. Macdonald Boulevard.

He found a pattern of cast-off blood drops on that section of the cab's exterior as well, which Sibley said he thought had been created by "someone with blood on his hand making a swiping motion." He then demonstrated the action, which Justice Douglas Belch described for the record as being similar to the beginning of a backswing in golf.

Sibley was unable to determine whether the person with Krick's blood on his hand was Krick's assailant or Krick, however.

Likewise, when Smith's lawyer, Gregory Leslie, suggested to the blood pattern analyst that a large contact stain on the back of the driver's seat in the taxi appeared to be a bloody hand print with fingers, Sibley said "I would never call it that."

He offered no theories as to what had caused the stain and refused to speculate.

Leslie questioned the absence of cast-off blood patterns inside the cab, if a knife had in fact been wielded in that relatively confined space.

But Sibley said there were a number of variables that could account for that, including the location of the wounds.

"If you're stabbing into clothing," he told the defence lawyer, "you're wiping the blood off as (the knife) comes out of the clothing."

He agreed with Leslie, howeve r, that it wasn't a certainty clothing would wick all of the blood from a knife blade as it was withdrawn.

Leslie told Sibley it had been suggested that Krick was seated in the driver's seat of his cab when his assailant attacked from the back seat. He asked the forensic analyst if his findings inside the cab could provide any insight. But Sibley simply told him "I can't say that."

The blood droplets, he testified, gave no indication of exactly who was where in the cab at any given point in time.

He also disagreed with Leslie's suggestion that, in light of Krick's blood loss, his assailant would also have been covered in blood.

Sibley did agree it was unlikely an assailant would be able to clean any significant amount of blood from his hands without soap and water.

He also agreed that using just water, he would expect blood stains on clothes to remain visible.

But the blood pattern analyst also agreed with assistant Crown attorney Foxton that an assailant's success at cleaning and hiding blood stains would depend on how much blood he'd gotten on himself in the first place.

And there was no way to know that, according to Sibley.

The trial continues this morning at the Frontenac County Court House.


Copyright © 2010 The Whig Standard

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Charred material, threads found in suspect's toilet: detective

From the Kingston Whig-Standard Online:

By Sue Yanagisawa

A Kingston Police detective testified Monday at Richard Smith's murder trial that 17 hours after cab driver David Wayne Krick was murdered, he and another officer went to the 34-year-old Smith's apartment and pounded on the door for at least five minutes, yelling "Kingston Police" and shining flashlights through the windows without getting any response from inside.

Det. Const. Guy Forbes told jurors that he was getting ready to leave when one of Smith's next-door neighbours "discreetly got my attention" and passed on some information that led to him calling for additional officers instead, one of whom tried to kick in the front door.

Smith is on trial for second-degree murder in the fatal stabbing of Krick, 50. He's pleaded not guilty to the crime, which happened in the early morning hours of a Father's Day on June 17, 2007.

The jury has already heard testimony from Smith's neighbours, who watched a man in the bathroom of Smith's apartment next door at 117 Carruthers Ave. burning what they believed were strips of fabric for about an hour before midnight.

Christopher Pike told jurors, earlier in the trial, that after police arrived around midnight that night his wife made him go downstairs and talk to them. He said he told one of them about the burning and recalled that the officer thanked him, but looked perturbed as he went to his radio.

Forbes agreed, under questioning by Smith's lawyer, Gregory Leslie, that the Major Case Unit to which he was assigned had three different "persons of interest" early in the investigation and his client was only one of them.

He also agreed with Leslie that Smith had become a person of interest after he was found walking on Palace Road, not far from where Krick's taxi was abandoned on Macpherson Avenue, just shy of an hour after the cab was discovered.

Forbes testified that he was tasked, later that day, with talking to Smith and said he went to 117 Carruthers originally around 4:20 p.m. At that time, he said he spoke to another tenant in the same building, who assisted him in identifying which apartment Smith lived in, but told him Smith wasn't home.

Consequently, Forbes and another officer returned around midnight, he told jurors, and attempted "to wake someone up."

Forbes said the neighbourhood was very quiet and there was no one in the street when they arrived. He also told jurors they tried both the front and back doors of the split-level. He disclosed that he even boosted the other detective up on the rear deck where " he was banging and shining his flashlight inside," and reported that he could see a television on, but no other sign that anyone was home.

Forbes said that he could also smell smoke coming from the apartment and "there was smoke being illuminated in the beam of my flashlight."

It made him think someone was home, he told jurors, but "I didn't know what the source of the smoke was."

After speaking to Pike, however, Forbes said he called Staff Sgt. Bill Kennedy, who was in charge of the investigation, and asked for more officers. Then he and the detective he was partnered with that night assumed positions where they'd be able to see if anyone tried to enter or leave Smith's apartment.

Forbes said one of the patrol officers who subsequently arrived with Kennedy and other members of the Major Case Unit attempted to kick in the apartment's front door. But it turned out to be too heavy and didn't entirely give way.

Soon after he started trying, however, Forbes said the door was suddenly opened by a woman, identified to jurors as Smith's girlfriend.

As soon as they entered, he said "I observed smoke in the air."

Forbes, who said he's five-foot- 10, estimated that it was hanging about a foot or two above his head. He testified that he went directly to the bath-room, where he observed some charred material and blue threads in the toilet bowl. He didn't touch anything, he testified, but reported his discovery to Kennedy and then looked in the apartment's rear bedroom to ascertain whether anyone besides Smith and his girlfriend were in the apartment.

Forbes said they were the only ones there.

Jurors also heard from Const. Robert Etherington, the Kingston Police Forensic Identification Officer who collected the material from the toilet bowl in Smith's apartment, as well as some black flecks that caught his attention in the bathroom sink.

Etherington also took photographs; collected blood swabs from Durham Street where Krick was found on the sidewalk stabbed 31 times; and additional swabs and fingerprints from the exterior of his taxi about nine blocks away. The cab, Amey's Taxi number 71, was stolen after Krick was stabbed and was then driven back to the same area where he'd earlier picked up his last known fare on Wright Crescent. It was abandoned on the other side of Sir John A. Macdonald Boulevard in the parking lot of Queen's University's An Clachan apartment complex off Macpherson.

Jurors learned that all of the blood swabs collected were later determined to be Krick's.

Likewise, there's no fingerprint evidence linking anyone to the crime.

Retired OPP forensic analyst Norman Sneddon told jurors "I wish it was like on TV, but it's not. The surfaces of a vehicle are not very good for fingerprint identification."

Sneddon fingerprinted the exterior and interior of Amey's Taxi number 71, a 2007 Chevrolet Impala, and inventoried and tested the contents of its interior. He found only a handful of prints suitable for identification and two of them belonged to other drivers while three weren't listed with AFIS, the Automated Fingerprint Identification System maintained by the RCMP. Under questioning by Smith's other defence lawyer, Mary Jane Kingston, he testified that none of the prints he found belonged to Smith.


Copyright © 2010 The Whig Standard

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Jurors hear no new evidence at trial

From the Kingston Whig-Standard Online:

By Sue Yanagisawa

Jurors at the trial of the man accused of murdering Kingston cab driver David Wayne Krick almost 3 1/2 years ago heard no new evidence Friday.

Instead, they spent the day unexpectedly closeted in their jury room and were brought into the courtroom around 4:40 p.m. with apologies from Justice Douglas Belch for the "long delay."

The judge then told them they wouldn't hear from another wit-n ess until Monday and sent them home for the weekend.

Richard Edmund Smith, 34, stands accused of second-degree murder in Krick's death by stabbing on Father's Day, June 17, 2007. He pleaded not guilty to the crime three weeks ago when his trial began in Kingston's Superior Court.

So far, jurors have heard evidence about the panic button in Krick's taxi being pushed that morning shortly before 6:45 a.m., sending a signal to his dispatcher that he was in trouble, and a subsequent 911 call he managed to make from his cellphone.

They've been told that while police and fellow taxi drivers searched the area around Park, Victoria and Durham streets for him, Krick's cab, Amey's Taxi No. 71, was driven west, back toward the neighbourhood where he'd picked up his last known fare. The cab was found, abandoned, in the parking lot of Queen's University's An Clachan complex off Macpherson Avenue.

The jury also heard testimony from the first two police officers to locate the stolen taxi. One of them, Const. Lester Tang, identified Smith in court as the man he chased but lost after seeing him crouched between two vehicles not far from the abandoned cab.

Tang, who also testified at Smith's preliminary hearing, had not previously made that identification.

Two cab drivers and a police officer described finding Krick on Durham Street, almost simultaneous with the discovery of his cab about nine blocks away, and the attempts that were made to revive him with CPR at the scene.

Jurors have been told the slender 50-year-old cab driver had been stabbed 31 times and the attack had collapsed both his lungs and punctured his heart.

Const. Edward Gaulton testified that in the aftermath of the stabbing, as police and cab drivers patrolled the streets around Macpherson looking for the suspect who had earlier run from the An Clachan parking lot, Smith was pointed out to him walking on Palace Road and he stopped and questioned him.

He told jurors that Smith, who he estimated to be six feet tall and approximately 180 to 190 pounds, was physically in the suspect's range, but the clothes he was wearing were completely different. The suspect for whom police were looking was believed to be wearing a black, long-sleeved jersey and light blue or faded blue jeans. Smith, when Gaulton saw him, was wearing beige pants, a red T-shirt, black ball cap and carrying a green windbreaker.

Gaulton was suspicious, however, of Smith's claim that he was just returning from the home of his employer, Harry Buttle, on Wright Crescent and that he'd gone to ask him about upcoming jobs early on a Sunday morning.

Buttle, a sub-contractor who worked installing carpet and flooring for 43 years, was in poor health and died before Smith's trial began. He testified at his helper's preliminary hearing in 2009, however, and jurors heard his recorded testimony from that day.

Buttle said he wasn't home between 7 and 9:30 that morning, having taken his wife's car for an oil change at Canadian Tire, near the Cataraqui Town Centre. Buttle said he left the car there and walked home to 94 Wright Cres. and never spoke to Smith that morning.

He testified that Smith told him later that he'd stopped by, however, and while Buttle believed him, he said he found it " strange," in that Smith had never come to his apartment before to ask about work.

Jurors have been told that police twice went to Smith's apartment at 117 Carruthers later that day. The first time, in the late afternoon or early evening, they spoke to a couple in the neighbouring apartment building who had just returned from a bridal shower in Cornwall.

Later, officers returned some time around midnight and those same neighbours told them about seeing a man in Smith's apartment burning what they believed were strips of fabric in the apartment's bathroom.

Jurors later heard from Barbara E. Doupe, a hair, fibre and textile expert from the Centre for Forensic Sciences, who examined a small quantity of cloth fibre and yarn, much of it charred, that had been collected by police from the toilet and sink of Smith's apartment.

She was able to identify some of the material as denim, but said there was too little of it to say whether it came from a garment or some other textile.

Det. Shawn Bough, who was a member of the Kingston Police Department's Major Case Unit at the time of the murder, has also testified to the jury that Smith was one of three persons of interest early in the case. Jurors have heard that Smith wasn't arrested the night of the murder when police collected the burned material from his bathroom.

His neighbour saw him working on his property the next day, and jurors learned from the preliminary hearing testimony of Smith's boss that he work for Buttle until August that year when the 62-year-old went into hospital.

The jury has yet to hear exactly how police came to charge Smith with the murder.


Copyright © 2010 The Whig Standard

Friday, October 29, 2010

Nine of 31 stab wounds were deadly: pathologist

From the Kingston Whig-Standard Online:

By Sue Yanagisawa

The forensic pathologist who conducted David Wayne Krick's autopsy told jurors yesterday that he couldn't say definitively where or exactly how the 50-year-old cab driver was positioned when he was fatally stabbed, but he believed it possible "many of the wounds" could have been inflicted while Krick was still inside his taxi.

Dr. David Dexter, who was director of Kingston's forensic pathology unit until his retirement in 2008, was testifying at the second-degree murder trial of Richard E. Smith, now in its third week in Kingston's Superior Court of Justice.

Smith, 34, has pleaded not guilty to the crime, committed on Father's Day, June 17, 2007.

Dexter told jurors the wounds he saw on Krick's body could have been inflicted by an assailant reaching forward from the back seat of the taxi. But, to account for the distribution of wounds on Krick's back, front and both sides, the doctor said the cab driver would have had to have been moving.

Dexter told jurors that Krick, who he described as a "fairly thin individual" at five-foot-10 and 128 pounds, died from the cumulative effects of "multiple stab wounds" that collapsed his lungs, pierced his heart and resulted in what Dexter described as significant hemorrhaging.

Under questioning by assistant Crown attorney Elisabeth Foxton, the doctor described 31 wounds on Krick's neck, right hand and torso, most of them in the cab driver's back and all but the two on his hand positioned above the level of his diaphragm. Dexter also disclosed that nine of those stab wounds, which penetrated deep into Krick's chest cavity, could have each been fatal on their own, entering between his ribs, through his back and through his chest.

He described the two wounds to Krick's right hand -- one in the back of his hand and the other on his palm below the thumb -- as defensive-type wounds, but later agreed under questioning by Smith's lawyer, Gregory Leslie, that the characterization was based purely on location. There was no way of knowing, he said, whether they actually resulted from an attempt by Krick to ward off his assailant.

Additionally, Dexter found evidence of bleeding at the base of Krick's brain and some swelling in the brain itself, which he had examined by a neuro-surgeon. He testified that the brain injury was "consistent with what's called a closed head injury," caused by some sort of impact. It wouldn't have been sufficient to kill him, the doctor told jurors, but it could have caused him to lose consciousness.

He couldn't determine exactly what caused the brain injury. Dexter said Krick's scalp and skull were intact with no obvious bruise site, leading him to suspect the impact may have been diffused over a large area. But "where the impact occurred I could not define, post-mortem."

Foxton asked him if it could have been caused by Krick falling and hitting his head. The doctor agreed that was plausible, but he didn't know.

What he could tell, he said, was that the stab wounds and the brain injury "all appeared to be fresh and concurrent," happening "more or less at the same time."

Toxicology found no alcohol or drugs in Krick's system when he died, Dexter told jurors, and had he not met with foul play that day, the doctor said his health was "quite reasonable."

Jurors also learned that Krick's assailant didn't take the time to search him. During the postmortem examination, hospital staff found six $20 bills and three $5 bills in one of his pants pockets and his wallet in another.

Dexter said he couldn't determine in what sequence Krick's wounds were inflicted. But there were multiple factors that would have contributed to his "rapid loss of consciousness," he said, including blood loss, the collapse of his lungs and a tear one of stab wounds had opened in his heart.

Jurors were told his blood vessels would have been compromised in their ability to deliver oxygen to his brain by all of those injuries.

Dexter, after examining Krick's wounds, said it was also "possible" that they were all caused by a single weapon, and if they were, he said, "it appears to be sharp, it appears to be thin bladed."

He estimated, based on the depth of penetration of the fatal wounds, that the blade involved was "in the order of 15 cm long" and about "1.2 cm wide."

It could have been longer, allowing for the possibility that the blade wasn't driven all the way in, he testified. Under questioning by defence lawyer Leslie, he conceded that factoring in chest compaction, the blade might have been slightly shorter. He didn't find any hilt marks to assist in that determination.

Dexter testified that none of the blades police brought to him for examination fit the parameters of the weapon that caused Krick's wounds, however.

Leslie suggested that 31 stab wounds is unusual and the doctor agreed "it is a lot of wounds," and more than he usually sees with a stabbing victim. But he was qualified in adopting the defence lawyer's characterization of the attack as "frenzied." Dexter responded: "Perhaps, yes," later elaborating that while "it is unusual to see this number of stabbing wounds," he couldn't comment on what else was going on during the attack.

Krick's wounds don't illuminate his assailant, according to Dexter. He told jurors, during questioning by Leslie, that it was impossible to tell how the knife was held, whether the assailant was right-or left-handed or how tall or heavy was the person wielding the knife.

Copyright © 2010 The Whig Standard

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Man burned items in home: couple

From the Kingston Whig-Standard Online:

By Sue Yanagisawa

More than 16 hours after Amey's Taxi driver, David Wayne Krick was stabbed to death and his taxi stolen, jurors heard yesterday that a couple on Carruthers Avenue saw a man in Richard Smith's apartment next door burning what they believed were torn strips of cloth in the bathroom.

Smith is on trial in Kingston's Superior Court, charged with second-degree murder in Krick's death and has pleaded not guilty.

Christopher Pike and his wife, Dawn Pike, both testified separately that they didn't know any of their neighbours at 117 Carruthers on June 17, 2007, the day Krick died. They also didn't recall noticing Krick or his girlfriend, who also lived in the apartment, before that night.

The Pikes had lived on the top floor of the small apartment building next door to 117 Carruthers about six years at the time and were engaged to be married. They also told jurors they'd been out of town that Sunday at a bridal shower in Dawn Pike's honour in Cornwall and hadn't heard about the murder in Kingston, which had occurred between 6:30 and 6:45 a.m. that morning.

Christopher Pike testified that they drove back that afternoon, arriving home some time between 2 and 5 p.m., and recalled that his then fiance spent some time putting away all of the gifts she'd received.

He also recalled finding police on his street outside the apartments next door when they pulled in and that one of the officers asked if he'd seen his neighbour and that he told them "no."

Pike, under questioning by Smith's lawyer, Gregory Leslie, said the officer didn't use his client's name when he asked the question or identify the person he was interested in as the neighbour in apartment No. 1 at 117 Carruthers: He simply asked if he'd seen his neighbour.

Christopher Pike agreed with Leslie that the query was intriguing in that it was out of the ordinary.

But he testified he had no inkling of what was actually going on when his wife called him to their kitchen window around 11 p.m., alarmed at seeing flames in a window across the driveway at 117 Carruthers.

At first, he said, she thought it was a house fire and so did he: "Then I observed the fire wasn't out of control."

Pike said he saw a man standing in the apartment's bathroom setting long strips of what he took to be fabric on fire and dropping them out of view.

Once he ascertained that the apartment wasn't on fire, however, "I felt it was nothing to be alarmed about," he testified, "and none of our business."

He then returned to watching TV, but he said "Dawn watched the whole time," and intermittently called him back to observe the activity in their neighbour's bathroom.

Dawn Pike told jurors she'd gone to the kitchen for chocolate when she first saw the flames.

The lights in her kitchen were off at the time, she told jurors, and she was just reaching up to a glass shelf across the window above the sink when she saw the flame flicker in the corner of her eye.

"I thought our neighbour's house was on fire and I thought we should call the fire department," she testified, but her husband "told me I should mind my own business."

She kept watching, however, and observed that "the flames were floating" in the small bathroom window, which she estimated was about 30 feet away, down and to the right of her own vantage point. It looked like strips of fabric burning, she told jurors, "just by the way (the flames) moved." She also observed that the burning material was in different lengths and said she could hear faint sounds of fabric tearing from the open bathroom window.

She didn't smell any smoke, she testified. But her husband told jurors he did.

Dawn Pike also told jurors she could see it was a man doing the burning, although the light in the bathroom wasn't on. Both she and her husband testified there appeared to be light coming into the room from outside the room, possibly through an open door.

Dawn Pike also testified that she saw a woman with long hair enter the bathroom at one point and the pair seemed to her to have a conversation, although she couldn't hear anything that was said.

She told jurors she was able to see that the man doing the burning was thin, had short hair and tattoos on his forearms and that initially he was wearing a tank top, although later when he came into view he was bare chested and wearing only boxer shorts.

She said she got a good look at him because "at certain points he'd go right up to the window and he'd look left and right and then he backed away."

She estimated that she sat in her darkened kitchen and watched him lighting the fires for "an hour or more," and only left the window a couple of times "to argue with my husband because he was telling me to get out of the window and mind my own business."

Around midnight, however, the police returned: Just two plain clothes officers at first on the lawn and walking down the side of 117 Carruthers Avenue. Both Pikes recalled that there was no doubt about their identities, because one of them was wearing a bullet-proof vest with Police lettered across the back. Dawn Pike said she left the window to get her husband from the living room where he was still watching TV and insisted he go down and talk to them.

And Christopher Pike told jurors he did as she demanded and "once I waved one of the officers over, I told him what my wife and I had observed through the window," essentially that they'd seen a neighbour in 117 Carruthers burning what appeared to be fabric, and "the officer thanked me, looked perturbed" and went to talk on his radio.

Christopher Pike then returned to his apartment, stopping once, he said, to look through the stairway window, where he observed the man in the neighbouring apartment stop what he was doing to look outside toward the driveway.

At about the same time, Dawn Pike testified she was going back and forth between her kitchen window and the windows in her living room, which faced toward Carruthers Avenue.

When she looked out the kitchen window, the burning had stopped, she recalled, and when her husband returned to their apartment, they both stood and watched out the front windows as more police officers pulled up outside.

Christopher Pike estimated there were about seven of them on the property when he heard them ask loudly for someone to come to the door, which was followed, he said, by a loud bang.

After that, both Pikes saw police inside the apartment next door, in the kitchen and bathroom. Then, some time later that night, an officer came to their apartment and took statements from them.

The jury heard that was when the couple first learned that police were investigating a homicide. They've also been told, in earlier testimony, that Smith wasn't arrested that night.

The trial continues this morning at the Frontenac County Court House.


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Officer testifies he saw accused on day of murder

From the Kingston Whig-Standard Online:

By Sue Yanagisawa

A former Kingston Police officer was grilled Monday at the second-degree murder trial of Richard Smith.

Though he never identified him before, Const. Lester Tang testified that he saw Smith crouching near the taxi of slain cab driver David Wayne Krick the morning of the murder.

Jurors have already been told that before he succumbed to his wounds Krick, 50, was able to call police around 6:45 a.m. on the morning of June 17, 2007.

They've also heard that soon after dispatchers for the police and Amey's Taxi gave out Krick's last known location his taxi was reported on the move again. It ended up on MacPherson Avenue off the west side of Sir John A. Macdonald Boulevard.

Tang testified that he was the second officer -- right behind now retired Const. Mike Campbell -- to arrive at the parking lot of Queen's University's An Clachan apartments off MacPherson, where Krick's taxi was abandoned.

As he turned his cruiser down MacPherson, Tang told the jury, his attention was drawn to a man he could see through a gap in the hedges, crouching between two vehicles.

"I was travelling quite slowly, I'd estimate between 10 and 20 km/h," Tang said, and by his estimate the crouching man was about 20 metres away, within about five vehicles of Krick's abandoned taxi.

"When I saw him, our eyes met," he told jurors. "He saw me as well and just took off running."

Tang, who transferred to the Guelph Police Department in February, said he was "very surprised by the quickness of his reaction and his speed when he took off." He estimated he had about one second to study the man's face.

His cruiser was also behind Campbell's at that point and Tang estimated it took another 30 seconds for the two vehicles to get into the parking lot.

He testified that he radioed he'd seen a suspect first from his cruiser and then from his mobile radio as he gave chase. Campbell also jumped out of his cruiser, he recalled, and started running after the man, as well, signalling to Tang to take another path through the centre of the complex.

Campbell previously testified that he was never able to catch up to the runner and lost him when he rounded a building. Tang said the man never crossed his path again that morning.

That evening, he told the jury, he looked through 925 mug shots without success. He selected photos of "three people I thought would resemble the guy I saw," he said, largely based on what he felt was a similar rounded face shape, but he never suggested any of those three might be the man he chased.

"My purpose," he said, "was just to start the process."

Assistant Crown attorney John Skoropada asked Tang if he ever saw the runner from that morning again and Tang said "not until the day of the preliminary hearing that was held last year." He then identified Smith in the prisoner's dock.

Smith's defence lawyer, Gregory Lester, was quick to point out that Tang was asked that exact question during the preliminary hearing, however, and his answer then was a simple "no."

Tang said he'd put too narrow an interpretation on the question when it was asked on that earlier occasion and claimed he didn't appreciate the significance of his being able to identify Smith as the runner.

"The investigation had already made an arrest of the correct person without my assistance," Tang explained. "I felt I was peripheral to the investigation."

He also agreed with Leslie that the first time he disclosed that he recognized Smith as the person he'd seen running from the parking lot that morning was during a conversation with assistant Crown attorney Skoropada just before the trial began two weeks ago.

His revelation, Tang con-firmed, came about after he noticed a photograph of Smith on a binder and made a remark to Skoropada to the effect that Smith looked different in the flesh.

The trial continues this morning at the Frontenac County Court House.


Copyright © 2010 The Whig Standard

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Police officer describes what he saw the day of cabbie's murder

From the Kingston Whig-Standard Online:

By Sue Yanagisawa

Jurors at the trial of the man accused of murdering Amey's Taxi driver David Wayne Krick resumed hearing evidence Monday afternoon, only to be told they'll be in recess again until next Monday.

Justice Douglas Belch told the 12 citizens charged with weighing the Crown's case against Richard Edmund Smith that he's dealt with the points of law that paused witness testimony last week, on the third day of trial.

However, he also advised them they won't be required for the rest of this week, but will resume hearing testimony on Oct. 25. In the interim, he said, he and the lawyers involved will be working.

Smith, 34, has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder in the stabbing death of Krick, who was 50 at the time of his death on June 17, 2007.

The jury has already heard how the Kingston cab driver was found around 7 a.m. that Father's Day Sunday, blood-soaked on the sidewalk in front of a white bungalow on Durham Street. He'd been stabbed 31 times, had no detectable pulse and CPR initiated by a fellow driver and a police constable was unsuccessful in restoring any spark of life.

Yesterday, retired Kingston Police Const. Mike Campbell told jurors he was in a patrol cruiser that morning, parked up around Princess and Sir John A. Macdonald Boulevard at about 6:45 a.m. when his dispatcher advised that a cab driver had been stabbed in the area of Park Street.

Campbell put his cruiser in gear and was heading for Park Street, Campbell testified, when he received new information seven minutes later that led him to believe the injured cabby might instead be on Macpherson Avenue, west, off Sir John A. Macdonald. He told the jurors he immediately changed direction and drove for the new destination.

The former constable said there's a complex of Queen's University graduate student residences off Macpherson -- which have previously been identified as the An Clachan Complex. When he initally turned west onto the avenue from Sir John A. Macdonald Boulevard, Campbell said he could see a white car in the northeast corner of the complex parking lot. But didn't see any sign of people and said he hadn't noticed a fellow officer driving up behind him.

At that point, Campbell said "I wasn't in full possession of all the details about the cab" and so even after he'd identified the white car as an Amey's Taxi, he didn't know if it was the specific cab police were seeking.

He testified he was approaching in his cruiser -- slowly -- when he suddenly heard a voice over his radio announcing "I am in pursuit," or "I am in foot pursuit" and glanced in his rearview mirror to see a cruiser pulling in behind him. He recognized the voice on the radio as that of fellow officer Lester Tang, a relatively new addition to the force at the time, he said, and when he shifted his eyes forward again he saw another man running.

Campbell told jurors it all happened virtually simultaneously and, in response, he got out of his cruiser, ran around the front, climbed over a 2 1/2-foot guide rail and joined the pursuit. He admitted, however, that the suspect already had enough of a lead, "I knew I would not catch him."

He agreed with defence lawyer Gregory Leslie that Tang, being considerably younger, had a better chance of running down the fleeing man. After his initial head start, Campbell estimated 40 yards was the closest he ever came to catching the suspect.

But he testified that he stayed in the chase until he lost sight of the runner around the corner of a building, concentrating the entire time on observing as much as he could in order to provide the best description possible for his fellow patrol officers.

"At that point," he noted, "the taxi driver had not been found. We knew he was wounded from the information we had and I thought he might still be in the taxi."

So he returned to Amey's Taxi Number 71, abandoned in the An Clachan parking lot. Campbell testified that it was on his return that he observed red smears on the paint around the rear passenger door.

He told jurors he looked inside and, seeing no sign of the driver, spotted what looked like a GM key on the floor underneath the steering column.

Campbell said he carefully opened the door, using only his index finger and retrieved the key "very gingerly".

He wasn't wearing gloves, he said. But he needed to make sure Krick hadn't been stuffed in the trunk, so he fit the key into the trunk lock holding it carefully by its edges.

When he discovered Krick wasn't anywhere in the cab, Campbell said he relayed that information back to police dispatch, together with a description of the man who had run from the cab's vicinity and ultimately eluded both him and Const. Tang.

He then sealed off the area around the abandoned taxi with yellow police tape and later accompanied the cab as it was towed to an impound lot where he personally affixed police seals to all four doors to preserve evidence.


Thursday, October 14, 2010

Witnesses give details of how victim was found

From the Kingston Whig-Standard Online:

By Sue Yanagisawa

Jurors on the second-degree murder trial of Richard E. Smith heard on Wednesday that a call for help was sent from the taxi of the man he's accused of killing, taxi driver David Wayne Krick, approximately 10 minutes after Krick was sent to pick up a fare from the YMCA parking lot on Wright Crescent.

Kenneth J. Osborn, who was dispatching for Amey's Taxi early that Sunday morning, June 17, 2007, testified that the initial call was assigned around 6:30 a.m. And as soon as he saw the flashing "Emergency" indicator on his computer screen, he switched to voice frequency and called for "car 71, car 71," the cab Krick was driving. But he received no response. He said he also asked: "what's your emergency?" which could have been heard by anyone else in the cab if Krick's radio was switched to voice frequency. But there was no indication that message was heard, either.

Osborn said there have been false alarms in the past when a panic button was hit by mistake. But he told jurors he'd always been able to reach the drivers involved. They discover their error, he said, when the system won't let them book into a zone or answer any calls. When that happens, Osborn testified, Amey's drivers are supposed to immediately switch to voice frequency because an emergency alert, once activated, requires the driver of the involved taxi and the dispatch office to work together to deactivate it.

This time, there was only silence from the 50-year-old driver involved, so Osborn said he contacted another driver and asked him to check the Victoria and Durham street area where the panic button on car 71 was activated.

"I was sending other cars in to help," he added, "and I got a phone call from Kingston Police asking about car 71 and Dave Krick."

Osborn told jurors he didn't know how the police dispatcher got Krick's name and taxi number. But the call came in about two minutes after the panic button in his taxi was hit. Consequently, Osborn said he responded by calling up that morning's driving history for car 71 -- only to discover it was on the move again, travelling down Victoria Street.

As Osborn monitored the taxi's progress, relaying updates on its position to police, his recollection was that Amey's Taxi 71 cut over to College Street, drove down toward the water almost to Union Street, and then reversed itself, travelling back up College and over to Brock Street, before finally coming to a stop off Macpherson Avenue.

Amey's Taxi driver Michael J. Hartson had just started his shift around 6:30 a.m. that day. He testified that he picked up his only call that Father's Day around 6:40 a.m., dropping his fare off on the other side of the LaSalle Causeway in Point St. Mark.

It stopped being a routine day for him, however, as he was driving back across the bridge into Kingston's downtown, around 6:50 or 6:55 a.m. by his estimation. It was then, he testified, that a text message appeared on his meter indicating a driver needed help in the Victoria and Park street area.

Hartson testified it took him less than five minutes to drive from LaSalle Causeway to Victoria Street, where he joined two other Amey's cabs in a search of the area.

He recalls following car 34 up Durham Street, observing that, at the time, "we weren't looking for someone on the ground. We were looking for Dave (Krick) walking, or his cab." He suggested that was the reason the driver of car 34 initially missed seeing him.

Hartson, however, spotted someone lying on the south sidewalk on Durham Street, partly on the sidewalk and partly on the lawn of a white bungalow, his head toward a no parking sign. He also recalled that his immediate impression was that "there was a lot of blood."

He told jurors that he radioed Osborn in the taxi company's dispatch office and told him that he was going closer to have a look and then, "I saw it was Dave."

Hartson said he checked for a pulse at Krick's wrist and throat, couldn't feel one and relayed that information to Osborn before returning to see if there was anything he could do

He told jurors Krick was lying on his right side "in a fetal position," with one arm flung out and a closed cellphone in his hand when he first saw him. His eyes were open, and while Hartson was standing there, he said the phone began to ring, so he answered it. The voice on the other end identified itself as police dispatch, he said, and asked for his name and position. Then, almost immediately, he remembers a police cruiser coming around the corner.

Hartson told jurors he helped the police officer, who they later learned was Const. John Stanistreet, to roll Krick onto his back so the officer could begin CPR.

Shelley L. Scott, was driving back from Norman Rogers Airport after dropping off a fare around 6:40 a.m. that same morning.

She testified that she swung down Sir John A. Macdonald Boulevard, heading downtown, and noticed an unusually heavy police presence around Van Order Drive. She remembers thinking they were after somebody at just about the same instant she received a text message directing all drivers to Victoria and Park streets.

She remembers going to voice and asking which car they were looking for and being told they weren't looking for a car, just its driver.

Scott testified she'd just started to search on Durham Street when the message came over that Krick had been found and she drove back to assist.

She'd only been part of the Amey's fleet a short time, she testified, and "knew of " Krick more than she knew him. She was upset when she saw the scene, however, and recalled that as she approached, the officer on the scene told her to go back to her car.

Scott said she actually started to walk away and then "I said, 'wait a minute, I know CPR', " and she returned to assist Stanistreet, forcing air into her fellow driver's lungs while the police officer performed chest compressions.

Stanistreet told the jury he'd been dispatched at 6:53 a.m. that morning to help find a cab driver who'd been stabbed in the Park and Victoria streets area.

He remembered that it was only a short time after receiving that message that a second one came through indicating the missing driver had been found in front of 14 Durham St.

Stanistreet's recollection was that he was the third person to arrive on the scene rather than the second, however. He testified that he checked Krick for a pulse, found none, and the woman who was already there initiated CPR. He said he joined her, performing chest compressions until an ambulance arrived. He didn't know anything about the woman and man who remained to help, however, not even their names. He recalled that the man told him David Krick's name, "but I don't know how they knew each other," he said.


Copyright © 2010 The Whig Standard