Ac­cused in shoot­ing con­fessed, court hears

Edmonton Journal - - CITY - BILL GRAVELAND

A friend of the man ac­cused of killing a Cal­gary Stam­peder player main­tained Fri­day that the al­leged shooter con­fessed to pulling the trig­ger shortly af­ter shots rang out.

But in a lengthy cross-ex­am­i­na­tion by Nel­son Lugela’s de­fence lawyer, Dar­win Con­cep­cion ac­knowl­edged he was drunk on the night of the shoot­ing and is still try­ing to piece to­gether what hap­pened. Lugela is charged with sec­ond-de­gree mur­der in the shoot­ing death of Cana­dian Foot­ball League player My­lan Hicks at Mar­quee Beer Mar­ket on Sept. 25, 2016.

Con­cep­cion tes­ti­fied he was drink­ing heav­ily with Lugela and an­other friend that night.

He said he was out­side the bar at closing when he heard a gun­shot.

“I heard a bang in my left ear. Ev­ery­body started run­ning and ev­ery­body was pan­ick­ing. My ears were ring­ing,” Con­cep­cion told de­fence lawyer Alain Hep­ner.

“I just turned around and Nel­son looks at me and said, ‘Let’s go’ or some­thing. ‘We gotta go.’ So we all hopped in the ve­hi­cle.”

Con­cep­cion said it wasn’t un­til they left the scene that he no­ticed Lugela was hold­ing a gun in his hand and said, “I hit two shots. I don’t think he’s go­ing to make it.”

But Hep­ner chal­lenged Con­cep­cion, point­ing out the man never men­tioned that Lugela ad­mit­ted to shoot­ing Hicks in his orig­i­nal in­ter­view with po­lice three days af­ter the shoot­ing.

“You didn’t tell the de­tec­tive this last phrase that you told us yesterday. Am I right?” asked Hep­ner. “Yes,” Con­cep­cion re­sponded. “That was three morn­ings af­ter. What I’m suggest­ing to you is you only heard the phrase ‘I don’t think he’s go­ing to make it.’ That’s all you heard. Was that true? Is that all you heard? Am I right?”

“I was drunk,” replied Con­cep­cion.

Lugela, 21, has pleaded not guilty to sec­ond-de­gree mur­der.

Court has al­ready heard Hicks was out cel­e­brat­ing a win when the shoot­ing hap­pened.

The shooter and two other young men jumped into an SUV and sped away. Po­lice ar­rested three peo­ple, in­clud­ing Lugela and Con­cep­tion, about 45 min­utes later when they re­turned to the scene.

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