A nurse at the Waterford Hospital in St. John's testified Wednesday at the trial of two men charged with conspiring to escape from the psychiatric institution in March.

Charged are Kenny Green, 35, and Matthew O'Quinn, 37.

Green was on the hospital's forensic ward for a psychiatric assessment after he was charged with second-degree murder in the death of Joey Whalen, 47, in St. John's in March.  

The nurse testified she was afraid to walk with Green on the ward.  

"We heard someone wanted to take him out ... he told a psychologist that a sniper was out to get him," she said.

The nurse also said she was worried Green might punch her. 

"We get punched in the head quite often. We get hit more than you think."

O'Quinn was also on the ward for an assessment because the Crown is trying to have him declared a dangerous offender for violent crimes against women.

The court heard that late one night Green and O'Quinn, who were sharing a room, were searched.

Constant observation

The court was told that both men were discovered wearing street clothes and sneakers under their bed sheets, and that other sheets were found tied together.

The nurse told the court that she had earlier noticed street clothes next to O'Quinn's bed.

O'Quinn, who is representing himself at the trial, questioned the nurse about that.

"So I would have to reach down [and get the clothes]. You should have observed it," he said.

 "We missed it. We're the Waterford, not the Pen," said the nurse. 

The trial has now reached a stage where the judge must consider several legal issues before it can proceed.