The Hamilton Spectator
Co-accused wanted to ‘get at somebody’ witness testifies
Friend took screenshots of texts from Daniel Wise in aftermath of stabbing
What do the messages suggest about one of the two men accused of killing Carel Douse, and is the woman who secretly recorded the texts, and shared them with police, a credible witness?
“U making me sound like the devil,” wrote Daniel Wise to a friend on the social media app Snapchat, four days after Douse was stabbed to death in downtown Hamilton. “Off the record I never did nothing. Everyone just running my name cuz they don’t know the guys n they my friends. I fight a lot but I never shot or stabbed no one. U don’t have to believe me.”
A jury heard Monday that Wise messaged those words on the social media app SnapChat.
The friend, Melissa Little, knew the victim as well as Wise, who is charged with first-degree murder along with co-accused Alieu Jeng.
All messages written on SnapChat disappear moments after they are sent, but Little took screenshots of the exchange off her smartphone using a backup phone.
“You didn’t want him to know you were taking screenshots (of the conversation),” said assistantCrown attorney Brian Adsett. “Yes,” said Little.
Little testified that several hours prior to the homicide, in the earlymorning hours of May 18, 2019, Wise had phoned her repeatedly asking for a drive.
She said he even offered $400 to drive him.
She testified that the reason he gave for needing a ride, was to “get at somebody because he jumped a family member.”
The jury viewed the screen shots in court. At one point in the exchange, Little messaged Wise: “You asked me to drive you to go take (c)are of shit with the people that jumped your boy and then a couple hours later (Douse) is dead.”
Moments later Wise writes: “I’m a need to turn myself in and sit for 3-4 years ... They have me on cam running ... They can say they never seen you before the fact but if you weren’t actually doing the physical act you’re guilty by association but you’re not the one who did it. I can get charged with it as a party. It happened to me already ...”
On the afternoon of May 26, 2019, Little said she showed the screenshots to Douse’s longtime girlfriend, Jennifer Clark — Little’s nickname for her was “Blondie” — and the pair went straight to police, where Little was interviewed by a homicide detective and her phone confiscated.
Little testified that she believed the texts suggested Wise was planning to flee, along with his co-accused.
“I saw Blondie to tell her Daniel (Wise) wants to get out of town, and his friend has a route already,” she said before the jury. “It’s not fair (Douse) gets murdered and everyone takes off.”
Under intense cross-examination, Wise’s defence lawyer, Tyler Smith, asked Little why she waited four days to share the screenshots with Clark, or go to police.
“You were so troubled by this, but you don’t do anything for four days?” said Smith.
“In the beginning I didn’t want to get involved with this,” replied Little.
“If you are telling the truth, wouldn’t you have contacted (Clark) right away?”
Smith also suggested during cross-examination that Little had been drinking heavily the night she said Wise had badgered her for a ride.
“I’m going to suggest you were drunk,” said Smith.
“Suggest all you like,” replied Little. “I wasn’t drunk.”
The trial continues Tuesday, but with one fewer juror: the jury is down one to 11 members, after one of the jurors asked to be excused from the trial because she found testimony was giving her anxiety in light of the suicide of a friend earlier in her life.
The judge told the jury he was “annoyed” by the development, because he had given prospective jurors opportunity to voice their concerns about serving.
All messages written on SnapChat disappear moments after they are sent, but Little took screenshots of the exchange off her smartphone using a backup phone