Neville defence claims Crown witness is lying

At the end of the second week of the Steven Neville murder trial, the defence alleged Crown witness Martha Bennett has been lying.
At the end of the second week of the Steven Neville murder trial, the defence accused a witness of lying on the stand. CBC

At the end of the second week of the Steven Neville murder trial in St. John's, the defence alleged one of the Crown witnesses has been lying to the court.

Neville is charged with first degree murder, in the stabbing death of Doug Flynn in October 2010.

One of the key witnesses for the Crown is Martha Bennett, who says she was Neville's best friend.

When she was on the stand, Bennett testified that just hours before the incident, Neville told her in a phone call that "I want to kill them. Kill them. Kill them."

Bennett was referring to Flynn and Ryan Dwyer, who Neville is also accused of attempting to murder.

But one of Neville's lawyers, Rosellen Sullivan, pointed out that there is no phone record of Neville calling Bennett or Bennett calling Neville at the time the call was supposed to have taken place.

The defence says she's lying because she admitted to the police she bought drugs from Neville.

They say the officer who took Bennett's statement, Constable Tom Warren, told her she was the "subject of an obstruction of justice investigation" because she was involved in a "drug transaction," and that she could get "five years in jail" for obstruction.

Sullivan alleges Bennett's involvement was much greater than that, saying Bennett took part in Neville's drug business, handling money and records of drug transactions.

The lawyer also claimed that several weeks after Flynn's death, and after a number of interviews with the police, Bennett made up that phone call to give the police what they wanted to hear, in order to take the heat off herself.

Bennett still claims the call took place, and that she wasn't involved in the drug trade.

Ryan Dwyer, the man Neville is charged with unsuccessfully attempting to kill, is scheduled to testify on Monday.

He's expected to be on the stand for two or three days.