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

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