The Hamilton Spectator
‘Message was not to talk to police’
Officer met with resistance from witnesses on scene of May 2019 homicide
The time-stamp on the security video taken outside a Chinese food restaurant reads 2:59 a.m.
The camera records in infrared mode, couching images in stark shades of black, grey and white.
A man bolts out the door of a club that opens onto King Street East, running into traffic, jumping back to narrowly avoid an SUV heading through the intersection at East Avenue North.
A Hamilton police forensic video analyst testifying Thursday did not identify the man by name in the frame, but the Crown has told the jury in the first-degree murder trial that Carel Douse fled three men from that after-hours club, at that very moment, after having been stabbed inside.
Douse’s longtime girlfriend, Jennifer Clark, stared at the video on a big screen in court, sitting motionless two rows behind the prisoner’s box where the co-accused, Daniel Wise and Alieu Jeng, watched on their monitor.
The jury has heard that less than five minutes later that morning, Douse was found on the porch of a house about 200 metres away on East Avenue North. The Crown says Douse was stabbed a total of 19 times.
Court heard Thursday that a police officer first on the scene bent over the fatally wounded man, close to his face, asking him to give a name.
“I asked him repeatedly, ‘Who did this to you? Do you know who they were?’ ” said Const. Lucas Cadet-Herchenroder on the witness stand. “I believed I was watching him die ... I asked if the ambulance could step it up.”
Douse said nothing to him in reply.
The police officer said the victim had a deep laceration to his face but there was not much blood visible, even as his breathing was “extremely shallow, very slow.”
Cadet-Herchenroder said Douse’s eyes moved lazily and looked away from the police officer, toward a woman who was cradling his head, before he appeared to lose consciousness.
The woman, who tried in vain to move Douse, refused to give the officer her name, he said, or answer any questions — an attitude, he told the jury, he continued to experience from individuals in a crowd that had gathered near the house.
“There was a lot of shouting and noise and people asking what was happening and who was involved,"he said."They
w not talking to (police), and telling others: ‘Don’t talk to them; We don’t talk to them.’ I remember being a bit upset and disappointed they didn’t want to work with us. The message, the consensus, was to not talk to the police.”
Cadet-Herchenroder, who arrived at the house at 3:04 a.m., said he helped firefighters who were next on the scene cut away the multiple layers of shirts Douse was wearing, with paramedics arriving soon after and immediately loading him onto a stretcher.
Ultimately, he said, three women in the crowd did offer observations and provide their names to him.
The trial completed its first week and will resume Monday with the defence cross-examin
The video evidence presented by the forensic video analyst, Mike Preocanin, showed the jury footage from multiple streetmounted security cameras that showed three men chasing another man that night, from the after-hours club and briefly up East Avenue North.
The footage also showed three men recorded inside a taxi in the moments after Douse was found on the porch, and also entering Big Bear convenience store at 82 Wellington St. N. at 3:04 a.m., and Select Convenience at 54 Queen St. S. at 3:23 a.m.