Mur­der trial fo­cuses on tracks found at crime scene

The Prince George Citizen - - FRONT PAGE - Mark NIELSEN Cit­i­zen staff [email protected]­i­t­i­

Crown prose­cu­tion closed its case Tuesday against a man ac­cused of par­tic­i­pat­ing in a dou­ble mur­der with tes­ti­mony from an ex­pert wit­ness re­gard­ing two key pieces of ev­i­dence found at the crime scene.

Perry An­drew Char­lie faces two counts of first-de­gree mur­der in the deaths of Thomas Burt Reed of Burns Lake and David Lau­rin Franks of Prince Ge­orge and a count of at­tempted mur­der with a firearm in re­la­tion to Bradley Wil­liam Knight, the soul sur­vivor of the Jan. 25, 2017 tar­geted shoot­ing.

Co-ac­cused Seaver Tye Miller and Joshua Steven West have each pleaded guilty to two counts of se­cond-de­gree mur­der and Aaron Ryan Moore to two counts of crim­i­nal neg­li­gence caus­ing death and await sen­tenc­ing.

Prince Ge­orge RCMP Cpl. Robb Kean, a foren­sic iden­ti­fi­ca­tion spe­cial­ist, tes­ti­fied he re­cov­ered im­pres­sions of tire tracks and foot­ware in­ves­ti­ga­tors found in the snow along­side Foothills Boule­vard near North Nechako Road fol­low­ing the ear­ly­morn­ing in­ci­dent.

While he was able to say the tire tracks came from the same brand of tires found on the al­leged get­away ve­hi­cle, it was as far as Kean could go, say­ing there were no dis­tinc­tive marks that would have set them apart from those found on other ve­hi­cles.

Sim­i­larly, Kean was able to say the tread from footwear found at four spots at the scene came from the same brand of shoe seized from Perry’s home. But be­yond heavy wear, par­tic­u­larly on the heel, there was no ev­i­dence to link the shoe prints to Perry. He also agreed with de­fence coun­sel Ja­son LeBlond that the im­pres­sion may not per­fectly match Perry’s shoe size.

It is Crown prose­cu­tion’s the­ory that Franks had of­fended some­one in the lo­cal drug cul­ture, a hit had been or­dered on him and he was lured to the spot un­der the pre­text of car­ry­ing out a drug deal. Reed had of­fered to drive Franks to the site and Knight was along for the ride.

Ear­lier in the trial, Knight tes­ti­fied he had been sit­ting in the back of the car when gun­fire broke out and dove to the floor. He was clipped in the shoul­der and hip but sur­vived.

Knight said he called 911 af­ter hear­ing a van that had car­ried the at­tack­ers drive away but didn’t see the as­sailants.

De­fence coun­sel has elected to not call ev­i­dence. Crown coun­sel Marie-Louise Ahrens will de­liver clos­ing ar­gu­ments on Thurs­day and LeBlond will fol­low on Friday. The judge-alone trial is be­ing held be­fore B.C. Supreme Court Jus­tice Mar­guerite Church.

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