Trial, Week 4: Summary - August 12


WEEK 4: AUGUST 12 - 16, 1996

   * Day 10: Monday, August 12                * Day 13: Thursday, August 15
   * Day 11: Tuesday, August 13               * Day 14: Friday, August 16 
   * Day 12: Wednesday, August 14


Edited by Roz Royce and Trond Halle, from notes by Trond Halle (Defendant)

Posted by FreeMedia

MONDAY, AUGUST 12, 1996 - DAY 15

Abbreviations used in notes:

DC = Don Campbell (Defense)
SF = Shelagh Franklin (Defense)
GW = George Wool (Defense)
ST = Sheldon Tate (Defense)
MA = Manuel Azevedo (Defense)
HR = Harry Rankin (Defense)

LB = Lance Bernard (Crown)
JF = Jennifer Fawcus (Crown)

J = Judge

(new haircut day - Harry, judge, Madam Registrar, Lance Bernard)

GW tells judge that JoJo is back in the complex. Judge notes absence of Tate.

MA - re Jones Ignace's bail review - judge was silent re change of circumstance of Ontario decision. Wants clarification whether that meant J didn't think Ontario court had jurisdiction over BC decisions. GW states Jojo in.

Franklin and Shadow in late.

Madam Registrar notes that Edward "Pancho" Dick, Glen Denault, Francis "Teddy" Dick missing.

Judge has jury come in and tells them court will stand down until Tate returns.

Return 10:25 - HR says Tate in Vancouver court of appeals and DC will act for his clients. Jury in. Cst. George Findley back on witness stand. J tells jury about ST

SF - Confirms that Findley is Metis, part white. In June of '95, he understood that Lyle James owned the land. After camp told him it was Indian land, he took note of this as an investigator. Clarifies that he wasn't investigating there, but only keeping the peace. David Archie told him he believed there were people buried at grounds, as did Percy. Staff Sgt. Sarich had advised him that the land was in dispute. James felt it was his and the camp thought it was native land. Sarich didn't share his personal thoughts of who he thought legally owned it because Findley mostly worked out of Williams Lake Detachment.

His main concern was if any drunks came in from outside. He didn't concern himself with resolving who owned the land. He learned about the history from Archie and from books he read by himself. Learned that Black Dome Intertribal Agreement set Shuswap land at 2,000 sq miles. Governor General James Douglas reduced it 32 years later to 300,000 acres. Archie couldn't remember the dates Trutch reduced it at the time. Understood that people conducting ceremonies weren't going to leave. Not sure why. He believed that following ceremonies, people would leave. Got that idea from Csts. Andrew and Wood. He couldn't find any legal transaction to justify reducing the land. When asked about his superiors reaction to his report, LB wants relevance. J won't let her ask further. Findley did get feedback though. He was pulled from camp by superiors on August 26, 1995. Last time before Aug. 26th, he was up at camp on July 12th. Confirms that this was the day he wrote the report and that he wasn't sent up there after. He thinks Staff Sgt. Sarich or his superiors pulled him.

Says that they all felt that there would be no more problems at lake and just left them alone. Wasn't aware that he had been videotaped nor would his superiors have known. J won't let SF ask why nothing was done about land shrinkage. No one gave him info re report but some officers, like Smith, Windal, agreed with him and his report. Cst. Tassel received report but he doesn't know what he did with them. Officers taking over job would have had access to his notes.

He never heard that removing campers would have been a human rights violation but they did say the land was Indian land. He never spoke to Lyle James. Pg 4 says James demands natives off - this info came from Cst. Andrew. Not an average trespass situation.

"Recognized this as another land claims dispute."

MA - says Findley has given them new info so has further questions. 95-10-19 letter went to file. Findley did it on his own. LB objects to letter being read out loud so J gets rid of jury to read letter. J says that this reflects opinions already expressed - is it necessary? LB says it's improper cross- examination. MA says some of the witnesses read out their notes. HR says these are notes - what Crown is objecting to is that it doesn't support his argument. Objection is that Crown witness is helping the Defense.

J has Findley read notes:

(The following is the complete text) Re: Gustafson Lake Standoff - Problems/Concerns. Concerns of Cst. G.A. Findley 3800G 1) Why was the decision made to remove Cst. Wood, Cst. Andrews and Cst. Findley from this investigation once it appears the police would be forced to take action? 2) Cst. Findley spent approximately 9 days inside this camp assisting 100 Mile Detachment and when it appeared things could get serious was told to not bother coming back as it was a decision sub/div had made a long time ago. Apparently so native members would not encounter problems after returning to their home det. 3) If some white religious cult were to take over the rodeo grounds at Williams Lake would the decision be made to send the white police home and have the native police storm this camp? If the native police of the RCMP are to have any credibility with their native communities and fellow police officers (white, black, brown, or red), then we are going to have to be involved whether the decision is right or wrong on a given issue. "ESPIRIT DE CORPS"! (End text)

Findley notes that report didn't go to 100 Mile House but to Williams Lake. MA wants to explore why this report was made, who it went to. J agrees to limited questions. HR notes that if front line officers never felt situation called for an assault, this is a major point to raise to jury. Certain officers and politicians may have acted in bad faith. LB - says this is all opinionated evidence that was written after the event so couldn't have had an influence on superiors. HR - says these were Findley's opinions at the time of being pulled off the case, as well as when he wrote this note and now. Notes clarification of what he thought at the time. J thinks and writes for some time. J says that because note itself was written later, it has no relevance and can't be read. (Findley's notes not read to jury.)

J asks counsel to talk to clients about being late. Jones: "We'll be here until I'm 90-years-old." J: "That's my concern too." Jury laughs.

MA - re Findley letter - Findley thinks Harrison, Quinn, Staff Sgt. Wendal saw the letter and discussed it. He didn't make any note of discussions. The reason he wrote it was that despite the reason to remove the native officers was valid, he didn't agree with it. Wanted to ensure it didn't happen again. LB asks for relevance. MA withdraws.

HR - He was not being treated like an officer but rather like a native officer. Says there are 70-100 native officers out of 2,000 officers in the province. Wanted to be treated like an officer. He had hoped that this could be solved in a peaceful way. No indication that there was any violence against him or fellow officers. New approach to use ERT was 180 degrees opposite from native approach. Findley dismissed.

LB - Next witness (#14): Katia Peel (chewing gum) - resident of 100 Mile House since 1953 with husband. Familiar with Gustafsen Lake. There 5-6 times a year for fishing in a motorhome. Has camping places called the "poplars" and the "corrals" (near dam). She ID's places on aerial photo. Camps near lake, south of corrals. IDs poplars by swimming dock. Says she and husband built stairs there to get to boat. IDs road junction and western fence line.

On Friday July 14, 1995, she, husband, and two old men from US. First took lakeshore road to get to corrals. Crossed east fence and then got to new fence line. Earlier, there were only posts. Year before there was old dilapidated fence. They saw "no trespassing" sign and assumed Lyle James didn't want them to use it so they turned around and took another road off 1000 road to get to corrals. No one at site when they got there. Says it's beautiful and fish are right there. Next day at noon she was at camp with dogs. Husband fishing and old men napping. Dodge grey brownish pick- up truck pulled up 10 feet away. Didn't stop. She turned and nodded and they pulled away. Two men in truck. Recognized Percy from town. IDs him as native in 40s and as driver. Other man native in 50s "chunky. Round build." Later saw him on TV. IDs Percy in courtroom as sitting in chair. Points out Wolverine. Wolverine: "You have very good eyes." Natives not there very long. 5 minutes later she heard chain saws going near beaver dam road. Saw going for 5-10 minutes. When husband returned, she told husband of chainsaws. Then drove up beaver dam road because they heard saw. Found 3 large trees over road on top of each other. One poplar (1' diam) and 2 jackpines (1.5' diam). Road wasn't passable. Tree freshly cut, sawdust still wet. Husband a logger and truck driver. Next day he cut up felled trees and moved them off the road. Following first contact with trees, they returned to camp.

On Sunday, they left via beaver road because of fence and things happening they didn't want to disturb. Husband had to cut trees with his chainsaw to get out. Old men helped clear road. LB: "Where are they now?" Katia: "By the side of the road." LB: "I meant the men. I hope you didn't leave them on the side of road." Laughter. Reported trees to forestry and police on July 17th. Returned to lake again in Oct. '95. Normally return then for moose hunting season which is in Oct Nov.

Peel points to spot where trees were felled. Took her 3 or 4 minutes to get to spot in pick-up truck. DC - She didn't have chainsaw first time they saw trees. Could have been 5-10 minutes from time she saw natives until she heard chainsaw. Never saw written version of her words since incident. Agrees chainsaws not strange to hear around 100 Mile. She didn't see natives cut trees.

GW - She agrees that many natives in 100 Mile House have English names like Archie. She doesn't recognize Grant Archie in courtroom. Admits that natives live in Alkali Lake, Canim Lake, etc. Says that there probably were no natives living in 100 Mile House. She was part of a demonstration in town when Gustafsen Lake standoff exploded. She says whites were on one side of the street and the natives were on the other. Doesn't belong to BC FIRE. No further questions. Witness dismissed.

Jones wants to know where other witnesses on list are. How come Cst. Wood isn't on Crown witness list anymore? J asks him to discuss it with his counsel. Paging the next witness. Tate returns. J says that he arrived when the witness was called so he'll have to step into the witness box. Witness not here so J stands down.

Witness and Francis Dick arrive.

Next witness (#15) - Martin Theiss (balding with ponytail) - 31 years old from Vancouver area. Been in Gustafsen Lake area every year since birth. There in mid-summer for motorbiking and fishing.

There in late July of 95 with wife and two children. Took lakeshore road to point. While going west, he noticed sign that said to the effect Keep Out, No Trespassing. Hadn't seen that the year before. Had noticed sundance sign for at least two years prior. Went through and then went to next set of gates. Says this gate was always there too.(!) Went through gate, then went to old point but saw people there so went further west. He met people from first site and spoke to them. Because of discussion, he turned around to leave lake area. Went through west gate, and then as he was going through east gate and wife was opening gate, he saw someone running up behind in his mirror. Person 50 feet away and running north. Saw him for 10 seconds. Person jumped into pit or hole and pointed rifle at them. Told wife to take cover. Saw person was wearing camouflage and scarf over his face. Couldn't tell sex. About 5'10" and 175 lbs. Person dived into pit quickly. Person was carrying rifle at midsection until he went into hole. Person was pointing rifle at them. He pulled vehicle forward to cover wife while she opened gate. Once open, he drove through. He had experience with weapons as a hunter. He saw a scope. Following that, wife "did something stupid and closed gate." Then "hightailed" it out of there. In 100 Mile House, he reported to forestry and then RCMP. Points out "man made pit or ditch" on photo. He said nothing to person but yelled loudly enough to wife to let him know they knew he was there. Points to blue spots on picture and IDs it as native camp. Saw it in 1994. Saw people there, vehicles and tents. He waved and they waved back.

HR - Gave statement to couple of officers but doesn't remember Cst. Ashford. Then remembers Ashford coming to his home to take statement. HR comments that he only got Theiss's statement 10 minutes ago. Has Theiss read statement to self and to look for any reference to a pit or ditch. Theiss can't find a word. Culprit described as tall and thin. Had been told he was thin. HR: "I've been told I was thin too but that was so long ago I don't remember." Theiss has used 270 Winchester, 303 British and a 22. Weapon used didn't look like 22 but not sure if it was a 303. Remembers a carrying handle or scope. Admits "I didn't have a great look at the rifle." Here he said person was 50 yards away, but statement said 70-80 yards.

Says he also gave a statement to someone in 100 Mile House but doesn't know who. Ashford was a local officer. Noted that rifle was 3' long. HR says this is a pretty short weapon. "I have more than a nodding acquaintance with the British Lee Enfield." In statement he didn't note person carrying weapon in both hands. He never noted that he closed the gate in the statement. HR points out inconsistencies. Theiss said Ashford took statement on tape but not sure why note of 70-80 yards was added. Went to forestry office first on someone else's suggestion. Left camp between 10 and 3 in the afternoon. Had two children with him and wife.

ST - Statement taken 26 October 95. After speaking to forestry office, he was directed to police. Spoke to large male with dark hair. He was at detachment for only 10 or 15 minutes. Statement was written down. Hadn't read original statement. Testimony based totally on memory. Following events were watched with interest. He did see skin colour around eyes as darker but can't say it was a native. Admits that time watching culprit was divided between watching wife too. AB/ GW - Theiss works at school of digital stuff. Has relative on east side of 100 Mile House though barely sees them. Knew nothing of a land dispute between rancher and natives. When he went through native camp, he was there because he took a wrong turn. Was never threatened, never saw camouflage or weapons. Motorhome stopped when he saw person. Person never fired a shot. Wasn't aware of publicity in area because he doesn't watch much TV. Person didn't follow him through gate. MA - Wants copy of notes made at detachment before beginning cross-examination. J orders those notes made available. Stand down.

MA - Has Theiss clarify position of person from aerial map. Says that person wasn't in trees. Says statement of that he was in trees is incorrect. Says here he feared for his life. But in statement he didn't fear for his life. Now he admits that he didn't fear for his life. Won't say distance from gate to ditch was 500 feet. "I'm suggesting that I have a terrible sense of distance." MA: "You couldn't tell if it was a male or female." Theiss: "Can you tell whether I'm male or female?" Laughter. MA: "In this court, I'll ask the questions." Insists he knew it was a gun. HR - reads first report that he didn't fear for his life and figured he was using rifle as a spotting glass. "Aren't you blowing this incident out of proportion in this court?" Theiss: "How is any person to know if a person is using a weapon as a spotting scope?" HR: "Because you said it." HR: "It's a stupid thing to come here and say that and then read this statement...?" Theiss: "I'm suggesting that's your opinion."

DC - Admits the way he remembered the event now would be different from the way he remembered it at the time. J stands down jury for day so GW can put forward application for JoJo.

MA - Wants J's clarification of bail review. Says he said Dohm erred in law revoking bail. Trial judge can only decide if there was a change of circumstances. LB suggests that a change of circumstances isn't the only reason to revoke bail. MA says they could proceed under error of law application.

DC - Francis Dick is about to be a father and asks that upon news wife's in the hospital, that he be allowed to go for the delivery. J says no problem if counsel has instructions to continue without client. GW - Re: JoJo - asks J to look at the evidence of Dr. Murphy that JoJo has a nerve disorder. Notes that nothing bad happened while JoJo was absent from court and that his mother (Flo Sampson) was able to get spiritual direction for him. That direction was to return to court and let his lawyer speak for him - JoJo followed that direction. He didn't prejudice anyone and all he did was forfeit his right to be present for his trial.

Says that custody would make his condition deteriorate which wouldn't assist him or the court. Says others will help. JoJo's defense is very strong too, particularly that he was in Chase on August 17, 1995. LB - Crown has same position as before. As long as trial can continue, that is the primary concern. Says J also has to consider that accused not only has a right to be present for his trial but an obligation to be there too. If J feels that can be met, fine. J - JoJo surrendered himself. Refers to Judge Vicker's bail decision re: Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. Notes that condition for JoJo to be with mother. Appreciates fair position taken by Crown. Concerned about ensuring that JoJo be present. Has some reluctance to let him go, but will. Changes conditions to allow Trond Halle, Ron Dionne, John "Doc" Hill and Percy Rosette to be with him. But next time JoJo "absconds", that's it - he'll be remanded into custody.

* Day 10: Monday, August 12 * Day 
13: Thursday, August 15 * Day 11: Tuesday, 
August 13 * Day 14: Friday, August 16 * 
Day 12: Wednesday, August 14