Reno Lee allegedly met man accused of killing him to broker drug partnership

Bronson Gordon, one of three Regina men accused of killing Reno Lee, testified that he was introduced to Lee to broker a drug partnership.

Bronson Gordon testified at his own trial for 1st-degree murder in death of Lee

Bronson Gordon has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder in the death of Reno Lee. (Micki Cowan/CBC)

A homicide victim in Regina was introduced to one of his accused killers to broker a drug partnership, according to the testimony of one of the men accused of killing him.

Bronson Gordon testified Wednesday at his own trial. He, along with Andrew Bellegarde and Daniel Theodore, are charged with first-degree murder and committing an indignity to a body in the death of Reno Lee in April 2015. Lee, 34, was shot in the head and dismembered in Regina and his body buried in a shallow grave on the Star Blanket First Nation.

The trial has been going on for several weeks at Regina's Court of Queen's Bench.

Previous witness testimony indicated Lee was attacked at Gordon's apartment and then transported to a home on the 1100 block of Garnet Street, where he was confined against his will.

Met over drugs

Gordon testified Lee came over to Gordon's apartment and brought meth. Gordon said he thought Lee's meth was of good quality, and he was looking forward to partnering with him.

"I was drawn to him. Everyone else was lying to me," Gordon said.

"I was really into him."

A short time later Theodore showed up at the apartment with the cocaine Gordon asked for, he said. Gordon said Lee went silent when he saw him.

Lee and Gordon found one of the witnesses and Bellegarde standing in the bedroom with a metal pipe. Gordon said he didn't know how Bellegarde got into his home and that Bellegarde hit Gordon with a pipe.

Gordon said the witness chased Lee, pulled down his pants and started hitting him.

Reno Lee was Regina's third homicide victim of 2015. (Regina Court of Queen's Bench)

Theodore allegedly told Gordon that Lee owed between $40,000 to $60,000 to "the guy in the suit" when he explained what was happening. 

Gordon said Bellegarde, Lee and the other witness then left the apartment.

Gordon said people came and went throughout the night, with one person coming to the home three times. The first time was to pick up drugs, and Gordon testified that at one point she was hysterical and said Theodore had come into her house with guns.

Furthermore, Gordon testified that she also said there was a guy, Lee, taped up in the basement.

"I just kind of started getting tripped out because I knew that he was a boss.... I had nothing to protect myself."

In the morning, Gordon said a girl who had crashed on his coach said a member of Lee's "crew" messaged her and said  Lee is missing and they knew he had been in his apartment.

Gordon said Theodore and Bellegarde came over after that, and that Theodore said "everything was all good" —someone had picked up Lee.

Arrested in Edmonton 

A few days later, Gordon was heading home when he saw his place surrounded by police. He thought they were there to bust him for drug dealing, so he cut off the tracking device on his ankle and went to Saskatoon.

Earlier in questioning, he said he accumulated thousands of dollars in debt selling drugs for a gang. However, although Gordon was once a member of Indian Posse in the early 2000s, he said he wasn't a gang member at the time of Lee's death.

Gordon was in a Saskatoon hotel room when he saw his own face on the news — he was wanted for first-degree murder in the killing of Lee. 

He said he wanted to see his kids before going to jail and testified that he stopped in to watch a Blue Jays game with his grandmother.

He was later arrested in Edmonton. Gordon testified that he hid meth in his rectum so he could get high after the arrest.

When asked if Gordon was following orders from Theodore in April 2015, Gordon said it was a "complicated thing" and he did have to answer to him on some things because Theodore was collecting a debt.

The cross-examination begins Thursday.

Corrections

  • An earlier version of this story said Bronson Gordon, Andrew Bellegarde and Daniel Theodore are charged with second-degree murder. In fact, all three are charged with first-degree murder.
    Feb 14, 2018 6:21 PM CT

With files from Alex Johnson