Second-degree murder trial for Adam Taniskishayinew underway at Court of Queen's Bench
REGINA -- The second-degree murder trial for Adam Taniskishayinew is underway at Court of Queen’s Bench. Taniskishayinew is accused of killing 30-year-old Denny Jimmy in June 2019.
On June 11, 2019, police were called to a single vehicle crash near 5th Avenue and Lindsay Street. A man, later identified as Jimmy, was declared dead at the scene. Further investigation led police to believe the death was a homicide. Police believe other occupants of the vehicle fled the scene, and during the trial, there has been some debate whether or not it was two or three occupants.
On Tuesday, the Crown prosecutor called eight witnesses to testify. All were police officers who investigated the case after the June 11th crash.
Regina Police Service Cpt. Mark Golaiy told the court he took photographs of the scene of the crash, the vehicle and Jimmy, who was found dead in the passenger seat. Golaiy said when officers took Jimmy out of the vehicle, they found a large gunshot hole in his back.
Cst. Shannon Slater testified she was tasked with speaking to residents in the area of the crash. She said she spoke to one neighbour, and then found a shotgun laying on the ground nearby with footprints beside it. Golaiy also took photographs of these. Golaiy told the court he later sent crime scene exhibits to RCMP Forensic Laboratories in Edmonton and Ottawa. When the defence asked Golaiy how he chose what items to send, Golaiy said he was operating under the belief that the person in the back seat would have fired the gun.
Forensic Identification Unit Constables Curtis Warnar and Christie Harris both testified about fingerprints found on the vehicle. Harris said a fingerprint found on the exterior rear passenger window was tested, and she concluded it was one of Taniskishayinew’s fingerprints on file.
Warnar told the court he also found a spent shotgun shell on the floor of the rear passenger side of the vehicle.
Throughout Tuesday’s proceedings, Taniskishayinew appeared to be listening attentively, and when one of the witnesses was asked to identify him, he voluntarily took off his mask.
The trial began on Monday. It is being held before a judge sitting without a jury. Court will resume on Wednesday, and is expected to last two weeks.