The former girlfriend of Mitchell Nippard looked frightened and put her face in her hands as she sat in the witness box before testifying against him Monday — outlining what happened the evening Nippard and three other men were arrested for multiple home invasions on the northeast Avalon.
As Kaylen King began to testify, her voice was quiet.
Nippard, who is facing a slew of charges, stood up in the prisoner's box and adjusted his clothing, staring at his ex-girlfriend.
"I can't hear her!" he called out, scoffing at parts of King's testimony.
"I can't hear a word she's saying," co-accused Abdifatah Mohamed, who's representing himself, chimed in.
Nippard, Mohamed, Gary Hennessey and Tyler Donahue were arrested on Feb. 9, 2017, after a woman was held against her will by two armed intruders at a home on Angel's Road in Paradise.
They are also accused of shooting two dogs — killing one — and committing other armed intrusions within the same month.
'Going to get milk'
King, who was not given a screen to shield her from the accused during her testimony, said she and Nippard had been in a relationship since 2015, and are no longer together.
On the evening of the home invasion on Angel's Road, King testified that she and Nippard were at a home they shared in Portugal Cove. Hennessey was also there.
She said it was dark when Hennessey and Nippard got a phone call, from someone she thought may have been Donahue.
"Mitch was like, 'Let's go.' And they left," King said.
"They said they were going to get milk."
Hennessey and Nippard would never return, and King wouldn't hear from her then-boyfriend until they spoke on the phone when he was in the lockup.
She said Nippard told her that he and Hennessey had been arrested on the side of the road in Paradise and that his wallet was in another car.
"He said he had to pick up Tyler," King said.
Had to go to 'work'
She said she was told Donahue, Mohamed — who she knew as Shea — and Mohamed Salim — who she knew as Slim — had to go to "work" at Topsail Pond, near where the home invasion took place.
Asked what work meant, King said the men went to someone's house.
She said Nippard went on to tell her, "They went to go break in" and that, "A girl was in the house with a baby. There [were] dogs there.'"
King said she knew all the men charged, but only met Mohamed and Salim — who was found dead in a gravel pit off the Trans-Canada Highway in March 2017 — days before the group was rounded up by police.
She said on the night of Feb. 9, 2017 — the night of the Paradise robbery — she received a text message from Salim but never responded. The content of that text message was not read out in court.
King, who was charged with obstruction of justice in the case, was shown a series of photos, and was asked to identify each image.
Referring to a photo of a watch, Nippard's defence lawyer asked, "Did you bring that watch into the apartment?"
"No. That's not my bag. It's not Mitch's bag," King said.
Why didn't she tell police?
A number of items were stolen during the home invasions, with past witnesses describing jewelry, money and other items.
King was questioned about why she didn't tell police sooner that Nippard told her about the home invasions, and it was suggested by a defence lawyer that she lied to police.
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She said she spoke with police about Nippard but that it was about a separate matter so she didn't bring up anything related to the home invasions.
Self-represented Mohamed still has the chance to cross-examine King.
The trial is expected to continue Tuesday with video testimony from another witness.