Med­i­cal stu­dent pan­icked af­ter shoot­ing, trial told

Cape Breton Post - - News -

Med­i­cal stu­dent Wil­liam San­deson was pan­icked and in­co­her­ent as he tried to clean up around a man’s blood-cov­ered body in his apart­ment, a Hal­i­fax jury heard Thurs­day.

Justin Blades said he was a track-and-field team­mate of San­deson’s who was vis­it­ing a mu­tual friend across the hall when he heard a gun­shot on Aug. 15, 2015.

He and San­deson’s neigh­bour, Pook­iel McCabe, were hav­ing drinks and smok­ing mar­i­juana in McCabe’s apart­ment.

San­deson had been with them but left the apart­ment shortly be­fore they heard a loud noise, Blades said.

“We heard a loud bang, real loud,’’ said Blades. “(I) froze for a sec­ond, jumped up, ran to the door, locked it,’’ Blades said.

San­deson came over about a minute later and knocked on the door but said noth­ing to the two men, said Blades.

“He just turned around and went back into his apart­ment,’’ he said.

He told the Nova Sco­tia Supreme Court jury that he looked into San­deson’s apart­ment and saw a pool of blood, bloody cash, drugs and a slumped-over body in a chair, bleed­ing from the head.

“Pints and pints of blood all over the floor,’’ Blades said, his voice trem­bling.

Blades said he left and re­turned to McCabe’s apart­ment.

He looked in again min­utes later and saw the body had been moved and streaks of blood go­ing to­ward the bath­room.

“(San­deson) asked me to bring the car around and I said no (ex­ple­tive) way,’’ Blades said.

San­deson, 24, is ac­cused of mur­der­ing Tay­lor Sam­son, 22, a fel­low Dal­housie Univer­sity stu­dent, dur­ing a deal to buy 20 pounds of mar­i­juana.

Blades told jurors San­deson was run­ning around the apart­ment “in panic mode ... pick­ing up bloody money.’’

Be­sides ask­ing him to get the car, all San­deson was say­ing was, “I gotta clean up,’’ but was mostly in­co­her­ent, said Blades.

“I didn’t even know what to say to Will,’’ said Blades, who said he didn’t call po­lice right away be­cause he was “in shock.’’

“You don’t ex­pect the nicest, most ed­u­cated, one of the bet­ter peo­ple out of the group to do some­thing like that,’’ he said.

That night he didn’t sleep and said his life was never the same again.

Be­cause of the high pro­file na­ture of the killing, co­work­ers and oth­ers gos­siped about the case and “I had to leave my ca­reer,’’ he said.

He said he car­ried the mem­ory of that night like “the plague,’’ and “didn’t know what to do af­ter so long.’’

He was scared San­deson was in­volved with or­ga­nized crime be­cause of stories he had told Blades in the past, he said.

He told Tan he re­mem­bered every­thing from the night in ques­tion.

“When you see a hor­rific scene like that, it’s burned into your head,’’ he said.

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