A Winnipeg woman and her common-law husband got a pass from prosecution on drug and weapons charges after they agreed to make statements to police about a drug-runner they knew named Kenneth Roulette, court heard Friday.
Dolores Saari was called to testify for the Crown at Roulette’s double homicide trial.
Roulette, 28, is presumed innocent and has pleaded not guilty to counts of first-degree murder in connection with the vicious stabbing deaths of Mad Cowz street gang associates Jessie Henderson and Dennis Baptiste inside 729 Maryland St. early on Jan. 31, 2009.
Later on that day, Roulette — whom she knew by his street name ‘Bigs’ — turned up at the Sherbrook Avenue suite she shared with husband Russell Glow. His T-shirt was bloodied, Saari told jurors.
The home is about a block southeast and a five to eight minute walk from the Maryland Street crime scene.
She says the two men disappeared into a bedroom and talked for about 15-20 minutes. She thought she also heard the shower running in this time.
Glow and Roulette emerged from the room with Roulette sporting new runners and a shirt, she said. "I think (Glow) went to throw the bloody clothes... in the BFI," Saari said. The two men then disappeared and returned minutes later with a large, new-looking TV set, she said. She assumed it was stolen goods. "(Roulette) said he would appreciate if Russell could sell the TV for him, and that he’s going away soon," Saari testified.
Jurors have previously heard that a brand new 52-inch Samsung TV worth $4,449 was missing from the Maryland Street apartment after police discovered the men’s grisly deaths.
She also heard Roulette tell Glow "if he needed anyone taken care of he would do it," she added.
To her, that meant he was willing to kill for Glow, that "if he needed anybody killed, he would oblige him," jurors heard.
Months later, Glow and Saari were arrested and jointly charged with several serious offences after police found a handgun, ammunition and four ounces of cocaine in their new residence on Minto Street.
On Feb. 11, 2010, Glow — who was in custody on those charges at the time — approached police and entered into an immunity agreement, Saari said.
She made a statement to police that same day and understood that by doing so, her charges would be dropped.
"He offered to give information to get out of jail," Saari said. Glow was paid money in the deal in some fashion as well, court heard, money from which she admits she also benefited. Details of the immunity deal were not explained to the court.
Crown attorney Keith Eyrikson told court Glow died earlier this year of natural causes and a long battle with various illnesses.
Saari admitted she and Glow were daily crack users who often let Mad Cowz drug-runners and dealers use their home as a place to package their illicit product. In return for use of the space, she and Glow received drugs as a "usage fee", she said.
Roulette had been to the home five to 10 times in the past, Saari said, and he and Glow would sometimes play dice on the porch. He would also offer to sell them drugs, she said.
Defence lawyer Greg Brodsky challenged Saari about the details of the Minto Street raid, suggesting the large amount of powder cocaine police seized showed she and Glow were dealing, not just using, drugs. Saari was consistent: the drugs were for personal use, she said.
Brodsky wondered why she wouldn’t ask Roulete what happened given that he may have been injured when he turned up bloody at their home.
"He was there to talk to Russell, not me," Saari said. Saari has no criminal record. She "most certainly" told police the truth, as well as in court, she testified.
The couple did not collude to concoct a "story" about Roulette and were interviewed by police separately, she said.
Thursday, former gang member and drug dealer Philip Asham also testified he made a police statement regarding Roulette and the homicide case in March 2010 in an effort to get out of jail.
Asham told court Roulette called him from Henderson’s phone on the morning Henderson and Baptiste were killed to say he "murked" (murdered) two people, wanted help disposing of the bodies and cleaning up the crime scene.