Trial, Week 6: Summary - August 26


WEEK 6: AUGUST 26 - 30, 1996

   * Day 25: Monday, August 26            * Day 28: Thursday, August 29
   * Day 26: Tuesday, August 27           * Day 29: Friday, August 30 
   * Day 27: Wednesday, August 28


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

Posted by FreeMedia

MONDAY, AUGUST 26, 1996 - DAY 25

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

Cpl. Ken Carrothers (KC) back on the witness stand.

GW - Confirms he's been on force for 15 years and that he's seen the science of forensics improve. In old days, he didn't have cyanide method at disposal. He confirms that he asked to come to Gustafsen Lake. His superior is Sgt. Hugh Dacon. Works under Supt. Olfert's command. In charge of scene was ERT co-ordinators who cleared it before allowing them in. Doesn't know how many members were on the scene before - thinks four. He doesn't recall anyone telling him what was in tree pit - only that he was asked to go to scene to take photos. Doesn't know who found pit. Knows that seven weapons were found and 18 people are charged. None of these weapons were in view in the open, they were hidden. GW asks if an accused like Trond, walking around the camp, wouldn't have seen these weapons in that location. Admits his men had to search for these weapons. He doesn't know who placed weapons in pit or when. Says he didn't find any fingerprints on the weapons in the pit and admits that they could have been placed there in June or July. Same with the pipe bomb.

No identifiable print of any accused on any object found in pit. Cpl. McLarnon there. Says he didn't dust any exhibits at the scene at the time. Ammo box in pit wasn't examined because he says it was unsuitable because of dust on the box. GW: "Before the gas chamber came into use by the RCMP...I didn't mean that kind of gas chamber." Chuckle from jury. Says that dusting for prints can sometimes ruin prints if you want to use gas chamber. Admits he didn't dust any items at Gustafsen Lake. Admits that glass is a very good surface for lifting prints - almost perfect. When asked about Dad's root beer bottle, he says he didn't examine it. Nor did he note every object he examined. Admits that lifting prints is just as important to eliminate suspects as it is to find them.

Says he saw media at Gustafsen Lake, but had no direct knowledge of who was in camp. GW suggests that there were people who had been at camp before arrests that weren't arrested. Denies feeling pressured to hurry job to allow media into camp. Admits that superiors told him to hurry. Sgt. Gates was first to indicate he was anxious to get his members back from the scene as they were in charge of security. Admits that there were superiors who wanted to release the scene back "to the owners or the media, I don't know." Saw lots of media at 100 Mile House including Sgt. Montague. Says he had discussions with him and Cpl. Ward regarding charts they asked to prepare for them. Knew these things he was preparing were to be aired around the province. Denies knowing these were criminal records Sgt. Montague was going to read to the media. Asked for information to be altered for the press conference. KC says he didn't prepare this for Montague because he was too busy with operational work. GW suggests he wasn't happy with the way that senior management was making requests of him. Admits he may have made comments to co-workers. Told partner he didn't like the manner Montague wanted him to prepare items. Denies that it was a media show saying the media has certain rights to information. GW suggests that Montague wanted information to make accused look bad. KC doesn't want to speculate what his motives were. He heard of the dog being killed right after the truck was blown up. Didn't see media, but did see it on video he was copying for members.

Knows that there was a camera in the sky above Gustafsen Lake recording a number of events. GW asks KC to view video and to identify it as the one he saw. LB wants a better foundation for why the video of Sept. 11, 1995 should be shown when KC didn't arrive until Sept. 18th. GW says he wants to show how the red paint got on the APC. He also wants to show how APCs were lined up to demonstrate how casings ended up where they did.

Video shown, truck blows up and jury visibly jolts backward. KC says he had viewed tape to edit evidence. KC says he prefers to use word "disable" instead of blown up. Jury snickers. GW suggests he uses terms like that so they wouldn't think land mines were used. Agrees RCMP used terms like disable, incapacitated, mechanically challenged (laughter). J won't let KC answer whether he thought people were dead. "He's not an expert in determining whether people are dead." Video continues and shows dog circling vehicle and two people running away into bush, towards Gustafsen Lake. GW points to large aerial photo where truck was blown. Video shows APC rolling down road and ramming the red truck. KC admits this and says that red paint on Bison was from red truck. KC admits that during his earlier testimony, he didn't tell jury that red marks on Bison were probably caused by the military operator himself. GW asks if his intention was to imply that people in the camp caused this damage. KC says his intention wasn't to imply. KC admits he had seen tape earlier, but didn't know if tape would be put in as evidence. KC can't say whether people running into bush were armed or not. KC's understanding is that AK-47 with fingerprint came from truck but doesn't know who found it, where in the truck or how it was positioned.

Video plays and dog seen being killed. Shadow on right of dog was RCMP member that killed dog. GW re-rolls scene and one jury member can't watch it again, turns his head away. KC says he didn't examine dog for bullets. Says he was asked to photograph red truck but at time, he didn't feel it was safe to do so, so declined. He never saw the dog.

Video plays and APC seen parked next to red truck. KC confirms this is APC "Red" ERT members seen walking around the rear. Maintains that APC had 26 bullet strikes on it. He doesn't say they appeared to be strikes - in his opinion, that's what they were. Says he's fired at steel plates before and had his opinion confirmed by another member later. KC says 24 marks were definitely bullet strikes. There were other marks that may have been shrapnel or stone strikes from the road. He saw APC being pulled down road but denies that 24 marks were anything but bullet strikes. GW asks him to read his report from Sept. 13th detailing examination of Bison at Kamloops Detachment in air hangar.

MB/ GW cont'd with Cpl. Carrothers - Re: report that doesn't have date but references Sept. 13/95 examination of APC. KC understands that APC was towed from Gustafsen Lake to 100 Mile House and admits that there was much dust on road that day. Says there was only a light layer of dust on vehicle. Denies that someone would have rubbed the "strikes" for some reason. He examined it first at Checkpoint Bravo. GW wonders if shiny strikes were rubbed before photos were taken. He denies this. Admits that APC was probably used in military exercises, but says if any bullet strikes had occurred then, they would have had an even coat of dust on them - unlike those he saw which were bright. But he did not see what happened to the vehicle between Gustafsen Lake and Checkpoint Bravo.

GW suggests that the APC could have been stopped and members could have gotten out and touched things - KC says that members that got out of APC at Checkpoint Bravo told him of bullet strikes on the APC. No officer told him that anyone stopped to tamper with damage. He cannot disprove this. Referring to his report, KC has written that a strike R-1 "appears to be a bullet strike." R-2 "appears to be shrapnel from a disintegrating bullet." Same with R-5. GW wonders why KC reports that strikes "appear" to be bullet strikes. KC: "It is a bullet strike so it appears to be a bullet strike." R-14 to 17, all "appear to be a bullet strike." R-20 and R-22 the same. He admits he doesn't know exactly when the strikes occurred, but felt they were of a recent nature.

Video played and shows two APCs on ground, back to back. Another APC rolls in from the East. KC admits that APC appears to be in a hurry but doesn't know that persons in other APCs were firing at time. KC interviewed members and says several thousand rounds were fired. He doesn't know where those rounds went after they left the barrels. APC seen pulling up next to other two stationary APCs. APC changes position to other side of APCs. KC says that persons inside can fire out of open hatches on top. Smoke grenades are thrown all around vehicles. Fourth APC rolls in from south into thick smoke.

KC says his expertise is not bullet examination so didn't check any of the weapons found. Admits that Cpl. McConaghy is an expert in weapons. GW says that KC can't tell if strikes were from "friendly fire". KC admits that he didn't check APC scene for bullets with metal detector - Gehl and Clark did. Bullet he found in APC tires later didn't appear to be from RCMP weapons but he didn't know. He turned them over to McConaghy. During investigation, he walked the area looking for evidence.

Knows that people arrested were charged with occupying James' land. He says he is a trained surveyor which is used to reproduce the scene of a crime. Admits that general practice in Western Canada for government is to partition land and give it to people. No RCMP officer ever asked him to survey land. He was asked by surveyor to locate a pin by the fence line which he did. KC can't say whether or not it was an original marker. GW shows him item B, archive document of Crown Grant referring to Lot 114. He never went to investigate original document to locate original markers. Isn't aware Gustafsen Lake is a man made lake with enough concrete at one end to drive a vehicle over. Refers to blue photo album and picture of another lake. He doesn't know it's called Neilson.

Re: fingerprint found on electrical tape wrapped around AK-47. Says he was given AK at detachment by Sgt. Sarich. Took weapon to Kamloops and conducted chamber process. No prints were found on metal. Says electrical tape will sometimes leave a print. GW recalls old RCMP days where they would look at object, dust it, and then lift the image with an adhesive lifter. KC admits that evidence only shows that OJ put his fingerprint on a piece of tape. KC wasn't aware of circumstances of how OJ was arrested or printed. He only received tape. As investigator, he works with different members including handlers of undercover operators. Aware that undercover operators often have to work in beer parlours with beer parlour persons. GW suggests that an undercover operator could bring in a suspect's glass to test for prints. KC admits that these prints could be lifted with electrical tape. KC understands that drinking on duty is a breach of regulations.

GW has KC open up "Suburban Investigation" photo album and refers to photo 3 of Molendyk standing next to an RCMP-issue safe. There is also a beer glass next to him. KC admits that Molendyk wouldn't be investigating glasses. Glass is standard beer glass. Admits that exhibits aren't normally left in a haphazard manner. KC thinks it is detachment office because of the safe. He doesn't know why beer glass is in photograph. Fingerprint found on sticky side of tape. Says tape was found in chunks. He also had to cut tape to make it manageable. Recalls that print was found in middle of print. Pulling out exhibit, he points to fingerprint being close to end of tape piece. He can't say whether print was at beginning, middle or end of tape. He admits there were other prints on the tape, but they weren't suitable for identification. On his report, he notes print #1 was caused by finger or palm - found unsuitable. Doesn't believe #2 was suitable either. #3 was OJ's. #4 also found on adhesive, but of other weapon. Says there is a typing mistake on report saying #2 was suitable. Re: #1 - a palm print found on spent casing - could not be identified - he assumes it was RCMP.

GW suggests that someone could have taken glass with OJ's print on it, lifted it with electrical tape, and then wrapped it around the AK. He says it's possible, but feels he would have detected it. Admits he doesn't know when tape was put on rifle, under what circumstances or who did that.

L/ DC - KC says the police lift fingerprints to compare them to prints previously gathered. Says the only prints he was asked to compare was those accused. Normally he would also get prints of other persons who may have handled items but because of scale of operation and number of people involved in the investigation, he deemed there would be no value in proving other people had touched items because he already knew this. Says the items from the red truck had been picked up by ERT members and had passed through a number of hands before he got them. DC suggests that other people had been in the area like John Hill, Ernie Archie or youths may also have handled items. He wasn't aware of these people and hadn't had any other prints supplied to him. It had been suggested to him that perhaps hundreds of people may have touched items.

Book 5B, photo 107 is of puncture wound of APC and of hatch. Photo 94 shows what hatch looks like when it's open. When asked how many rounds were fired out of Red APC, KC replies, "I don't know if a count was done - the floor was thick with spent casings." Confirms that APC is not designed as a battle platform as it was used on Sept. 11. "More like an armoured taxi," KC says. DC suggests that the hole in photo 94 was caused by someone firing outwards from APC. KC says it could also have come from across the carrier and behind. Admits that he has never had to analyze a scene where thousands of rounds were fired from a number of trajectories, but doesn't feel qualified to do it properly like a firearms expert. Recalls someone mentioning that there were also RCMP firing from the ground near red truck area on 1000 Road, but suggests that it was from Red APC when it was there. DC - Photo 264 of APC shock with hole in it likely came from someone shooting at front of vehicle. In other book, picture of stakes in ground represent casings found. In small aerial photo, he points out hill bunker and camp and area in between where casings were found. Then points out APC shooting area - 400 yards away. KC says he doesn't admit that the casings and the APC event were related.

MA - When KC first came to 100 Mile House area as Ident. Unit on Sept. 6/95, he helped set up video editing, photo transfer, phones, etc. Other two ident. guys showed up a week earlier to set up stuff. Says all Ident. personnel (six in Kamloops) get three week course in survey work.

Two more from traffic. KC believes there were a couple of trained surveyors at 100 Mile House. Sarich never had officers survey Lot 114. KC clarifies that they are not legally trained. No such officers in RCMP.

KC had never seen an APC prior to going to Gustafsen Lake. Admits he can't testify that he saw the condition of the APCs prior to his investigation. Regarding videotapes, he duplicated hundreds of tapes with other members of Ident. section. Tapes were supplied by someone from Major Crime section. Some of these tapes included those taken by Wescam planes.

On Sept. 18, he had meeting at 100 Mile House. ERT and explosive disposal people were already on their way to the Gustafsen Lake camp. Meeting lasted about half an hour and dealt with when site would be available for investigation work. Can't seem to recall who was at this meeting. At least four people from Ident. Unit there, and ERT co-ordinators for a total of about a dozen. Doesn't know who ran meeting. At campsite, Insp. Bass there. Sgt. Bravener, an ERT coordinator, was also at camp, as was ?. Bass from Major Crime Unit in charge of some of the operations. Supt. Hall in overall command, but KC's not sure who's in charge at the site. He says that with the experience of all the officers there, nobody was following him around all the time. Says he worked mainly with Sgt. Grey, Cpl. Kiloh, Cst. Demerais. Other investigators there whose names escape him.

Reference to photogrammetry - KC explains that photos are taken from the air so they can make scale drawings of the map in Ottawa. KC has copy of this and it looks like Ex. 141. MA looks at both. KC says Exhibit is not the one he has from Ottawa because it doesn't have the fancy colours. MA has KC's map marked Ex. 141A. KC doesn't know who is in charge of these maps in Ottawa. Re: his descriptions of firing pits. Says this was the term generally used by the officers. MA points out photo 1091. Recalls seeing this and remembers superstructure there with four posts and black tarp.

ST - On Sept. 11, KC took still photos of tree bunker. Demerais, Gehl, Clark, Gabriel, Thieson, Bass all there. KC doesn't remember talking to Gabriel about APC shooting at time. He does remember Gabriel talking to him about setting bomb that blew up the red truck. Knows explosive unit sent to examine red pick-up truck and Suburban. Admits that red truck wasn't inspected at time of it blowing up. He says RCMP truck was sitting for a few days so unit was sent to check if it was safe to move it. Gates and Bravener expressed concern about hurrying up examination. He knew that some of the members involved in the firefight of Sept. 11 were the same members at the scene later for the investigation of the site. Agrees in most crime scenes, officers don't touch site to prevent contamination of evidence. KC says that this was done on morning of the 18th, people were warned not to touch things if possible. Agrees that a briefing was held, but not sure whether a debriefing was held. He has no knowledge of who found tree bunker. Admits that ERT members placed plywood cover back on hole to show how they found it. When he arrived, plywood was askew on top, but he could see blanket of weapons in plain view at bottom of hole. There was no dirt around area and none on top of blanket. Not sure if anyone had been inside hole up to that point. He was asked to attend site so Explosives Unit could clear it out. So called "pipe bomb" was under blanket. KC had suggested to explosive guys to examine pipe there, but member didn't agree saying every member he had heard of dying from bombs had died from pipe bombs.

AB/ ST - KC wanted to know if bomb was an operational device. Bomb unit didn't want to take it apart. ST suggests that had the bomb been taken apart, he may have found fingerprints. He says he wouldn't have wanted to, but admits it could have yielded a fingerprint. Sept. 19th, they detonated device - a day after it was located. Explosive Disposal Unit (EDU) had control of pipe in that period so he can't say for sure that it was the same pipe. He supposes that pipe could have been substituted. Says EDU had own method of storage. He depended on EDU advice on how to deal with pipe. He was involved in marking for survey Sept. 22nd. Nigel Hemingway was legal surveyor.

JF - Next witness (#22): Cpl. William Chris Clarke (WC) - Member since 1979, assigned to Kamloops Forensics Unit since 1974. Makes his record Ex. 193. GW admits him as sound witness. JF goes over his record of courses he took to make him a fingerprinting specialist. On Aug. 31/95, he went to 100 Mile House area to assist ident. team. His main job was to take photographs. In photo book 4A, he took photos from photo 29 to end of book, generally of Suburban police vehicle, cut down trees found on 1000 Road and more. Suburban photos taken on 1000 Forestry Road by 29 km marker on Sept. 3, 1995. He was at location and took photos for his own purposes. His partner Cpl. Gehl was with him along with 2 EDU members and others he doesn't recall. On Sept. 3, Suburban taken to 100 Mile House and on the 4th, it was moved to a storage hangar. On the 3rd, he took photos because Forestry Road is rough and because two tires were flat, and some windows were shattered, he wanted to capture glass holes before they fell apart in transit.

Sept 4th to 6th photos taken in Rod's Automotive. Found 73 different markings on outside and inside of vehicle. He identifies different markings inside vehicle including holes in interior, rear doors, windows etc. He describes cratering on glass happening as something passes through it, and notes that this means that something came from outside. Hole numbers 36, 58, 63, 65 identified as force coming from the outside of the vehicle. Hole in silent patrolman (vehicle partition) indicates force coming from the rear. WC notes that tears in fabric of seat related to holes found in doors and glass. Next batch of photos taken near 35 km mark on 1000 Road.

   * Day 25: Monday, August 26            * Day 28: Thursday, August 29
   * Day 26: Tuesday, August 27           * Day 29: Friday, August 30 
   * Day 27: Wednesday, August 28