Times Colonist

Threat of lost children fuelled killing, court told

Witness recounts accused’s fear of wife’s departure

- RICHARD WATTS

DUNCAN — The thought of losing his three children to another man filled accused killer Dragan Jojic with terror, a B.C. Supreme Court jury heard yesterday.

Jojic’s close friend, Marlene Stobbart, testified Jojic told her his wife wanted him to move out of their home and she wanted the couple’s one-time boarder, Michael Taliano, to be a father to their children.

“He didn’t sound like he was angry at Michael. It sounded like he was in terror of losing his children,” said Stobbart. “This man was ready to explode.”

Jojic is on trial for first degree murder in connection with the Sept. 14, 2006, death of Taliano, 49.

It is the Crown’s theory the 60-year-old Jojic killed Taliano after his wife told him she wanted the separation and confessed to romantic feelings for Taliano, although she said those feelings were never acted upon. Court has already heard police evidence to show Taliano was shot four times, twice in the chest, once in the head and once in the back.

Stobbart said when Jojic told her of his wife’s position she became angry at the wife for being so “stupid” and at Taliano, a man she admitted she disliked, for being the cause of it all.

“If it was me,” she said. “I would go and beat him up because when you lose your family, you lose your life.”

She said Jojic’s wife was much younger than Jojic and had at one time been nanny to other children during a different marriage. The wife was also bent on meeting with other young people to do things like discuss poetry.

The wife, European by extraction like her husband, had even had one affair but Jojic didn’t seem to get jealous. “Europeans think differentl­y from Canadians.”

But “I think Dragan was so in love with his children he had forgotten, as most men do, about his wife,” said Stobbart.

When Jojic came to her and talked about the impending separation, she advised him not to give up his kids and not to give up his home. Instead, she suggested moving into a separate living area of the house.

She said that Jojic left, looking happier, his colour transforme­d from a deep purple to a normal skin tone.

But the following morning, Stobbart testified Jojic telephoned and told her “Michael was dead.”

Initially, she thought he had probably died from a heart attack. She headed over and agreed to drive Jojic to the police station where he could report the death. Along the way, Jojic told her he had approached Taliano that morning and told him not to come to the home anymore.

“He said Michael had laughed at him,” Stobbart testified. “I changed the subject because I did not want to know anything.”

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