Times Colonist

Farmer heard shots, murder trial jury hears

- RICHARD WATTS

DUNCAN — On the morning of Michael Taliano’s death, a nearby farmer heard shots but did nothing, a B.C. Supreme Court jury heard yesterday.

John Ehrlich testified he was harvesting broccoli when he heard shots. “I didn’t make anything of it,” said Ehrlich. “It sounded like a cap gun or something like that.”

He was testifying in the first-degree murder trial of Dragan Jojic, the one-time maitre d’ of the Malahat resort The Aerie. Jojic is charged in connection with the Sept. 14, 2006, shooting death of Michael Taliano, 49.

The Crown’s theory holds Jojic, about 60, shot Taliano after learning his wife was intent on leaving him. Taliano had lived at the Jojic home and, court heard, was godfather to the couple’s three children.

Ehrlich testified he knew both men. But Ehrlich knew nothing about romantic feelings between Taliano and Jojic’s wife.

He was to rent a cabin on his farm to Taliano. When it came time to get a reference, he went to Jojic and was instantly handed a recommenda­tion.

But days before Taliano’s death, Jojic came to the Ehrlich farm to buy eggs. “He seemed unhappy.”

Ehrlich said he had been too busy on the farm to check on the progress of Taliano’s move so when he saw Jojic he asked. “I yelled out how is Michael doing.”

“He said he was doing well,” said Ehrlich.

Court also heard from Janet Poelman, who lived near to the property where Taliano died, who also said she heard between eight to 10 gunshots.

Poelman said a short while later she saw a man walking away she identified as Jojic.

The trial continues.

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