Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Murder trial hears more jumbled testimony

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THE evidence portion of the Wanda Bruce murder trial ended Friday with more conflicting testimony from the key witness.

A 17-year-old boy -- who was described as the only sober person in a North Point Douglas rooming house two years ago when a man was beaten and stabbed to death -- repeatedly contradicted himself when questioned by both defence and Crown counsel.

Bruce, 34, is charged with second-degree murder in the death of Solomon Turner two years ago.

Turner, 46, was found by police in the night of May 10, 2011, in the basement of the rooming house he shared with Bruce and several other individuals.

Turner bled to death after suffering a fatal stab wound to the back of his thigh earlier that day.

A murder weapon was never found and no physical evidence was found linking Bruce to Turner's death.

Under questioning from both defence counsel Greg Brodsky and Crown prosecutor Joanna Kostiuk, the boy -- who was 15 years old at the time -- contradicted himself. First, he said Bruce and another resident attacked Turner as he tried to leave the house, then he said Turner attacked Bruce, who wanted nothing to do with him.

The boy said Bruce was, and wasn't, angry with Turner; that Bruce was worried about Turner's well-being and that she wasn't.

However, the boy was firm when he said he saw Bruce pick up a long, wooden-handled knife and go into the basement with Turner.

The boy said he went into the basement to check on Turner a few minutes later and found him unconscious and lying in a pool of blood. He said he told the others he believed Turner was dead.

Brodsky ended the defence case without calling any witnesses.

Kostiuk told the jury Friday surveillance video from a Main Street hotel showed it was Bruce who placed an anonymous call to 911 that night and told them there was a dead man in the basement of the rooming house at 265 Austin St. North.

Another rooming-house resident, Lloyd Lindsay, was initially arrested the following day and charged with second-degree murder. He pleaded guilty in provincial court a year ago to manslaughter and was given an eight-year sentence.

Bruce was arrested and charged with second-degree murder 17 days after Turner's death.

Lindsay, a Crown witness, testified that while he and Bruce fought with Turner, he never saw Bruce with a knife or weapon. Lindsay testified Turner was alive when he and Bruce left him in the rooming-house basement.

Closing arguments will be presented to the eight-woman, four-man jury Monday morning and Justice Colleen Suche is expected to charge the jury Tuesday.

aldo.santin@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition May 25, 2013 A7

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