Victim was worried about accused: witness
James Carlson was a talented farm machinery mechanic whose tools — after his family — were the most important thing in his life, according to Carlson’s friend.
Blair Schroeder said that’s why he was shocked to hear Carlson’s truck and work tools had been found abandoned in a field near Allan, Sask. on May 19, 2008.
Carlson was last seen five days earlier. Before he vanished, Schroeder said something had been bothering his friend. He testified in court Thursday that Carlson disclosed that he was worried about a man named Taylor Wolff and if Carlson ever went missing, he wanted Schroeder to tell police.
Wolff, 33, is on trial at Saskatoon Court of Queen’s Bench, charged with second-degree murder in connection with Carlson’s presumed death. No body has been recovered.
Defence lawyer Brad Mitchell asked Schroeder why he waited 10 years to divulge this information to police. The witness said he had mentioned it before, but never in a formal written statement.
Schroeder is among several witnesses whose testimony highlights a tension between Wolff and Carlson. Court heard the men were friends through the drug scene in Watrous, Sask.
According to an agreed statement of facts, Wolff had been charged for drug offences because of information Carlson gave police.
Layne Boorman, a friend of Wolff ’s, told police back in 2008 that he was aware of the situation. He said during a conversation with Wolff prior to Carlson’s disappearance, Wolff showed him a gun and told him not to go to Carlson’s home that night.
On Wednesday, Boorman testified he was coming off drugs and lied to police by telling them what he thought they wanted to hear about Wolff.
The trial entered a voir dire hearing to determine if Boorman’s out-of-court statement should be admissible for the truth of its contents.
Crown prosecutor Bill Burge argued plenty of witness testimony corroborates the essential element of hostility in Boorman’s statement.
Wolff’s friend Lindsay Reiber said Wolff was frustrated because Carlson owed him money. She testified Wolff later told her he shot Carlson and dumped his body in a well.
Two other women said Wolff made comments to them about the victim in 2008. One said Wolff told her he would “take care” of Carlson, while the other said she remembers him saying he was going to “get back” at Carlson.
Justice Gerald Allbright reserved his decision on the voir dire until Monday, when the trial will resume.
Taylor James Wolff