Murder trial focuses on tracks found at crime scene

 

Crown prosecution closed its case Tuesday against a man accused of participating in a double murder with testimony from an expert witness regarding two key pieces of evidence found at the crime scene.

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Perry Andrew Charlie faces two counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of Thomas Burt Reed of Burns Lake and David Laurin Franks of Prince George and a count of attempted murder with a firearm in relation to Bradley William Knight, the sole survivor of the Jan. 25, 2017 targeted shooting.

Co-accused Seaver Tye Miller and Joshua Steven West have each pleaded guilty to two counts of second-degree murder and Aaron Ryan Moore to two counts of criminal negligence causing death and await sentencing.

Prince George RCMP Cpl. Robb Kean, a forensic identification specialist, testified he recovered impressions of tire tracks and footware investigators found in the snow alongside Foothills Boulevard near North Nechako Road following the early-morning incident.

While he was able to say the tire tracks came from the same brand of tires found on the alleged getaway vehicle, it was as far as Kean could go, saying there were no distinctive marks that would have set them apart from those found on other vehicles.

Similarly, Kean was able to say the tread from footwear found at four spots at the scene came from the same brand of shoe seized from Perry's home. But beyond heavy wear, particularly on the heel, there was no evidence to link the shoe prints to Perry. He also agreed with defence counsel Jason LeBlond that the impression may not perfectly match Perry's shoe size.

It is Crown prosecution's theory that Franks had offended someone in the local drug culture, a hit had been ordered on him and he was lured to the spot under the pretext of carrying out a drug deal. Reed had offered to drive Franks to the site and Knight was along for the ride.

Earlier in the trial, Knight testified he had been sitting in the back of the car when gunfire broke out and dove to the floor. He was clipped in the shoulder and hip but survived.

Knight said he called 911 after hearing a van that had carried the attackers drive away but was never able to see the assailants.

Defence counsel has elected to not call evidence. Crown counsel Marie-Louise Ahrens will deliver closing arguments on Thursday and LeBlond will follow on Friday. The judge-alone trial is being held before B.C. Supreme Court Justice Marguerite Church.

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