Two witnesses put Neverson at scene of violent robberies
Two witnesses who testified late this week in the trial of Septimus Neverson, charged with carrying out 13 home invasions, were able to place the accused at the scene of two of the more violent robberies of which he stands accused.
Neverson, 56, is alleged to have carried out the home invasions, between 2006 and 2009, in various parts of the Montreal Island and in Laval. H e faces a total of 54 charges including the first-degree murder of a man who was killed in Laval and three attempted murders.
The trial, before a judge alone, is expected to last until December and for the first two weeks most witnesses who saw or even spoke to the armed robber who entered their home had difficulty describing him because, in each case, the culprit’s face was covered. That changed on Thursday when Const. Martin Therrien — the Montreal police officer who kicked in the front door of a home on De Nancy St., while a robber was in the process of terrorizing a family in Côte-des-Neiges — saw part of the man’s face when he used a 10-yearold boy as a human shield to make his eventual getaway.
On Friday, François Pagé, the fourth person Neverson is alleged to have shot, testified how he was eventually able to identify the man who shot him in the hip in his home on Parthenais St. in the Ahuntsic-Cartierville borough in 2009.
Pagé and his wife, Andrée Bérubé, were watching television in the basement of their duplex with their 16-year-old daughter when he headed upstairs for a snack. Pagé said he confronted the robber and was shot after asking what he was doing. In her testimony, Bérubé added a chilling detail: Just 10 minutes earlier, their daughter had been watching television upstairs alone. Bérubé said she didn’t like the idea of her teenage daughter watching television on her own and invited her downstairs with her parents.
Pagé ended up spending three weeks in a hospital “in unbearable pain and on heavy medication” while he recovered.
While testifying on Friday, Pagé said the robber wore a bandana over his mouth and a tuque. H e was able to see the man’s eyes and something clicked, six years later, when he saw the mug shot in a story about how Neverson had been arrested in Trinidad and Tobago. Pagé said something about that photo reminded him that the robber who shot him had a lazy eye.
“H is eyes weren’t able to focus straight, like how Iam looking at you now, Your H onour,” Pagé told Justice G uy Cournoyer. “It’s hard to describe, but his eyes weren’t normal.”
Two months earlier, on July 18, 2009, Const. Therrien was one of the first officers who arrived after H arrison Thyriar was shot inside his own home, allegedly by Neverson. Therrien saw the part of the robber’s face for a few seconds.
A brand new ladder left at the crime scene, under a window, was tracked down. Three had been purchased at Réno Depôt stores in the Montreal area in prior weeks. A review of security camera footage turned up images of a man who turned out to be Neverson purchasing the ladder with cash.
Therrien was shown photos captured from the footage a few weeks after the robbery. Then, several years later, he was able to pick Neverson’s mug shot out of a photo array that included mug shots of seven other men. Therrien conceded he is not certain he would have been able to pick Neverson’s photo out of the lineup without having seen the photo of Neverson inside the hardware store.