The jury in the attempted murder trial of Benjamin Nason heard Thursday from police officers who responded to a 14-hour armed standoff with the accused, in the Fredericton area, in January.
Nason, 38, of Beaver Dam, is accused of trying to kill his former lover Beth Ann Wallace, 40, who suffered a single gunshot wound to her upper body, outside her Lincoln Heights home on Jan. 29.
RCMP Sgt. John Welcher, who was in charge of the emergency response team, told the Court of Queen's Bench the 28-member unit was called to Nason's home at about 3:40 a.m.
Police had already cordoned off the area, because Nason was inside the home with several weapons, Welcher said.
Earlier testimony has indicated Nason left Lincoln Heights in his Ford Explorer and drove to his home at 2711 Route 101 in Beaver Dam.
RCMP negotiator Sgt. Lyne Couture told the seven-man, five-woman jury that Nason was suicidal, had a gun beside him, and repeatedly asked to speak to the victim, who was recovering in hospital.
Couture also testified that Nason had said he had consumed three to four beers.
Nason gave himself up at about 4 p.m., 14 hours after the standoff began, she said, as the accused sat quietly in the prisoner's box, listening attentively but showing little emotion.
The courtroom also heard that Fredericton police seized security camera footage of the front door of Nason's home, which showed the accused leaving the home with a rifle that had a scope, on Jan. 29 at about 1:02 a.m.
The video shows Nason returning to the home with the rifle at about 2:28 a.m., said Det. Phil Huskins, of the Fredericton Police Force.
Called former girlfriends
On Wednesday, two of Nason's former girlfriends took the stand. Lisa Payne, who had an eight-year relationship with Nason, and has an adolescent daughter with him, told the court she received a call from Nason around 4:30 a.m. on Jan. 29.
She said Nason wanted her to tell their daughter that he loved her, and he will always be her father. He was basically saying goodbye, she said.
During that phone call, Payne asked the accused, 'What did you do?'. She testified that Nason said "I shot Beth, but I am not sure I hit her."
Payne said she urged Nason to give himself up.
Another former girlfriend, Samantha Howe, who has a young daughter with Nason, testified he called her at about 5 a.m.
Howe said he told her that he loved his daughter, that he hadn't been a good father, and warned her things are going to get worse.
'If I can't have you, no one can'
Dr. Aldo Giovannoni, the emergency room doctor who treated Wallace, testified that Wallace was hit in the back, near her shoulder. There was extensive damage and a lot of bleeding, he said.
Only the skin and the tricep muscle remained of the upper part of the arm, said Giovannoni.
Wallace testified on Tuesday that she has undergone seven surgeries to repair her arm, and still requires additional surgeries.
She told the courtroom she met Nason in 2009 when he came to do renovations. They had a casual intimate relationship, she said, but weren't emotionally involved.
On Jan. 29, at about 1:30 a.m., Nason rang her doorbell and when she opened the door she saw he had a rifle, Wallace said. He forced his way in, put the rifle to her cheek and nose and told her, "If I can't have you, no one can," she testified.
Wallace said Nason hit her with the butt end of the rifle, twice, in the chest, then pulled her to the master bedroom. She then got to her cordless phone and started to dial 911.
But Nason heard the beeping and he grabbed the phone, she said. That's when she managed to get hold of the rifle, to try to fire it until there were no bullets left in it, but she couldn't, she testified.
Wallace said she ran down the stairs, out of the house and down the driveway. She heard a gunshot and felt a warm substance gushing down her body as she was turning to the neighbour's house.
She felt her arm, which she described as a mushy mess.
The Crown expects to call its final witness — a ballistics expert — on Friday. The defence is expected to begin presenting its case on Monday.
The trial, which began on Aug. 19, is expected to take about two weeks.