Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION
Posted: 02/5/2013 10:25 AM
Last Modified: 02/5/2013 2:12 PM | Updates
A frightened Const. Darrel Selley fired three shots at a desperate criminal to stop him from firing his downed partner's gun, a jury was told this afternoon.
Selley's lawyer Richard Wolson told jurors that in the confusing moments of early July 17, 2007, career criminal Kristofer Fournier managed to grab the sidearm of Selley's partner Const. Kristopher Overwater after a brief struggle.
In the split seconds that followed, Selley fired three shots at Fournier after he ignored orders to drop the gun.
Selley fired a fourth shot when Fournier appeared to turn at him with Overwater's police handgun in his hands.
The jury has already heard that that fourth shot hit Fournier in his buttocks.
Wolson implored jurors to acquit Selley who feared for his and his partner's life that night and acted in self-defence.
Wolson also said jurors should discount Fournier's testimony as he's a convicted criminal who lies and cares only about himself.
Fournier has said he was high on crystal meth the night of the shooting. Wolson said the drug could have caused Fournier to hallucinate about what happened.
The Crown says, based on Fournier's evidence, that the two city police officers shot an unarmed Fournier in a fit of anger and then lied to cover it up.
Special prosecutor Robert Tapper told the jury this morning that Selley and Overwater were acting as judge, jury and executioner.
"We do not allow vigilante justice in Canada, especially [for] those in a police uniform," Tapper told the six-woman, six-man jury. "We don't live in a third-world dictatorship."
Selley is charged with attempted murder using a firearm and criminal negligence causing bodily harm in the shooting of Fournier.
He and Overwater have pleaded not guilty to intending to wound Fournier by firing a Glock .40-calibre handgun, aggravated assault and obstruction of justice.
The officers had chased a stolen Yukon SUV thought to be the getaway vehicle involved in a 7-Eleven robbery.
The chase began after two masked men armed with a knife held up a 7-Eleven in St. James at Portage Avenue and Hampton Street at 2:35 a.m. on July 16, 2007.
Police responded immediately and ended up chasing an SUV that turned out to be stolen, but not involved in the robbery.
Selley and Overwater, in the primary pursuit vehicle, chased the SUV, speeding up to 142 km/h on Academy Road then slowing down and speeding up through the streets of River Heights, finally stopping near Grant Avenue and Lindsay Street when Fournier bolted on foot.
The jury has heard four shots rang out from Selley's sidearm after Overwater yelled, "Shoot him, shoot him."
A single round hit Fournier in his buttocks.
"If Selley was a better shot, it would be capital punishment," Tapper told the jury this morning.
"The fact he was a criminal doesn't mean police can act as criminals," he added.
The Crown has accused Selley of recklessly firing his weapon while chasing Fournier, while Overwater is accused of putting his own gun next to the wounded man and then claiming to other officers the suspect had made a grab for it.
Tapper also told the jury simple science, where the expended rounds were found and gunshot residue was found on the officers, shows the officers were at fault.
"Go where the evidence takes you," Tapper said.
Updated on Tuesday, February 5, 2013 at 2:12 PM CST: Updates with defence's closing statements
Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories? Please use the form below and let us know.
Having problems with the form?Contact Us Directly
Synagogue serves up some Christmas meals and cheer
Warm temperatures in Manitoba for Christmas
Santa, sleigh on course: NORAD
Man, 45, missing since Monday
Guests welcomed with open arms at Christmas Feast in the West End
Other alleged victims for therapist charged with assault
RCMP charge more than dozen impaired drivers
No charges laid in fatal collision
Ashton promises referendum
Election guru backs Oswald
Humans of the Holidays (in Winnipeg)
Break-in on top of her grieving
Chance of snow today, Thursday
Gang associate gets 11 years for assaults
Gary Effect embraces giving spirit
No snow means no go for some
For some First Nations people, like Tina Fontaine’s family, grieving is part of the yuletide season
FP reporter wins award
Openings, closings over the Christmas week
Take a minute to brighten the holidays
National Microbiology Laboratory hires new director
Mild weather not saving city hall any money on snow-clearing budget
Gang member gets 11 years for paralyzing attack on rival
Sisters give back to community in honour of father
Balagus believes Oswald best choice
Local skiiers not enjoying lack of snow this season
RCMP officer faces drug and weapons charges
Police charge 12 drunk drivers
Ashton pledges referendum on PST
Free Press reporter wins Amnesty International media award
Sex offender considered likely to re-offend
Manitoba Hydro warns of outages in Westman and Parkland regions
Kostyshyn replaces Ashton in cabinet
Team Oswald lands experienced operatives for roster
Equipment problems to blame as service down for eight hours: MTS