Scales of justice
The presentation of evidence began Monday in P.E.I. Supreme Court in the case of a Charlottetown man charged in connection with an armed robbery in May of 2012 in Emyvale.
Jason Norman Yeo is accused of having played a key role in the planning of the robbery/home invasion, which took place at the residence of convicted drug dealer Dean Fairhurst.
In an opening statement, Crown Prosecutor Cyndria Wedge alleged Yeo coerced Chase Roper and Derry Bird to commit the robbery.
Wedge said Yeo named the target, showed Roper and Bird where the victim lived, provided the guns that were used and received the drugs Roper and Bird took from Fairhurst’s residence.
By his actions, Yeo aided and abetted the robbery, Wedge said.
In court Monday, Micah MacDougall testified he shared a residence around the time of the robbery with Yeo, Roper and Bird.
MacDougall testified he heard Yeo raise the possibility of committing a robbery as a way for Roper and Bird to get back some of the money they had lost.
MacDougall said Bird was all for it, while Roper was initially reluctant.
He said he also heard a second conversation about committing a robbery but it was only between Roper and Bird. Yeo was not present.
During cross-examination, MacDougall testified that while he heard Yeo, Roper and Bird discuss the commission of a robbery there was no mention of who was to be robbed, where that person lived, when the robbery would take place or what they might hope to get from the victim.
MacDougall was questioned about his own involvement in criminal activity.
He said he had been convicted of trafficking in cocaine.
Questioned about his drug use around the time of these two conversations he overheard, MacDougall said he smoked marijuana on a regular basis and sometimes on the weekends used cocaine as a party drug.
Asked if he was addicted to drugs when he was selling them, MacDougall said he was not.
“I was addicted to money,” MacDougall said.
Kaylee MacLean, who was dating Bird at the time of the robbery and was in the vehicle that transported Roper and Bird to Fairhurst’s residence in Emyvale, testified Yeo showed them where Dean Fairhurst lived.
MacLean said Yeo drove them out there the day before the robbery. She said Yeo told them to rob the place.
MacLean testified she and Roper’s then girlfriend, Jennifer Wakelin, accompanied Roper and Bird the night of the actual robbery.
She said en route to the robbery, they stopped at another residence where Roper and Bird changed into dark clothing.
When they got there, Roper and Bird, each armed with a gun, left the women in the vehicle and headed to Fairhurst’s residence, returning some 15 minutes later with pills and cocaine.
During cross-examination, she reiterated her statement that Yeo told them to rob Fairhurst.
She conceded they all got high on cocaine and other drugs before making the trip out to Emyvale.
Defence counsel Mitchell MacLeod questioned MacLean at great length about the content of two statements she made to police.
He asked her if at some point during one of those interviews the chief investigating officer suggested to her there was a fifth person who deserved to face the same punishment for this crime as Roper, Bird, Wakelin and herself.
She said he did make that suggestion and that fifth person he suggested was Yeo.
MacLeod pressed MacLean about the clarity of her memory and the veracity of some of her statements, pointing to what he felt were inconsistencies between those statements and her evidence at trial.
He also questioned her about her drug use.
She said she used a number of drugs around that time.
The day began with Roper on the stand but he’d barely been on the stand for two minutes when his statements prompted a voir dire, a hearing within a hearing.
His testimony was then suspended at the request of the Crown until later in the trial for what Wedge described as security reasons.
Instead, Wedge said she would call MacDougall, MacLean and Wakelin, and then bring back Roper.
Roper is currently serving time at Dorchester for the robbery.
Bird went to trial and is awaiting the verdict, due to come down next month.
The trial resumes today.