De­fence wit­nesses de­scribe day of shoot­ing


GODERICH — Boris Panovski’s de­fence lawyer asked the jury to re­mem­ber, “There are two sides to ev­ery story.”

With that, the de­fence called six wit­nesses Wed­nes­day af­ter­noon in Panovski’s trial. Ev­ery one had been a po­lice wit­ness, but was not called to tes­tify when the Crown pre­sented its case.

They were ev­ery­day peo­ple who tes­ti­fied to see­ing some­thing — usu­ally some form of a blue car — near the Hul­lett con­ser­va­tion area where Don Frigo, 70, and his wife, Eva Willer Frigo, of Cale­don, were shot on the evening of Sept. 13, 2014, while at­tend­ing an­nual field-dog tri­als.

Hicks didn’t men­tion in his open­ing state­ment to the jury whether Panovski would tes­tify, but that doesn’t mean the 73-year-old Scarborough man, who has pleaded not guilty to first-de­gree mur­der of Frigo and at­tempted mur­der of Willer Frigo, won’t take the stand.

Frigo was a suc­cess­ful Toron­toarea busi­nessper­son with a pas­sion for shoot­ing dog com­pe­ti­tions.

Panovski had been a suc­cess­ful dog breeder and trainer of the dogs and prided him­self on a cham­pi­onship record, in­clud­ing a dog he sold to Frigo.

The Crown has sug­gested that af­ter a Georgia news­pa­per ar­ti­cle named Panovski in a pan­der­ing ar­rest and lewd be­hav­iour in Way­nes­boro, the epi­cen­tre of the shoot­ing­dog world, Panovski was shunned by the close-knit field dog com­mu­nity.

Frigo changed the name of his cham­pion dog from Panovski Sil­ver to Belfield Sil­ver.

Panovski seethed and that eightyear grudge, the Crown says, led him to a mur­der­ous plan that would see him drive 200 kilo­me­tres to the con­ser­va­tion area north of Clin­ton and gun down his ri­val.

But Hicks told the jury the Crown has to prove its case and “we be­lieve there are facts that you need to know.”

The de­fence called wit­nesses who chal­lenged what is the most frag­ile part of the Crown’s case. Even though Willer Frigo knew Panovski, she could not iden­tify him as the shooter who jumped out of the bushes while she and her hus­band were rid­ing horses and run­ning their dogs.

Willer Frigo hadn’t seen Panovski since 2006 and the Crown has ar­gued that he had changed his appearance in the in­ter­ven­ing eight years.

But even the colour and make of the car seen leav­ing the area af­ter Frigo was shot a sec­ond time, has been chal­lenged. Panovski had a blue-green Toy­ota.

The de­fence called Paul Dre­ossi, a Fan­shawe Col­lege art in­struc­tor who was at the con­ser­va­tion area on the morn­ing of the shoot­ing to hunt geese.

Un­der ques­tion­ing from de­fence lawyer John Fen­nel, Dre­ossi said about 10:30 a.m., he was leav­ing the area in his truck, when a car came from the op­po­site di­rec­tion on the gravel road, crowd­ing his lane.

Dre­ossi knew the car was a Toy­ota be­cause “I’m an en­thu­si­ast for the make,” he said.

He said he had to take “eva­sive ac­tion” and pull his truck far to the right. When the car passed, Dre­ossi was “ges­tic­u­lat­ing ” and the driv­ers looked at each other. The driver had blue-grey eyes, pale com­plex­ion and a promi­nent nose. He thought he was of East­ern Euro­pean de­scent.

The trial con­tin­ues on Thurs­day.

London Free Press

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