Shrubsall trial hears from man suspected in crime

The trial of William Chandler Shrubsall took a bit of a detour this week.

Jurors spent two days hearing from a man who confessed to robbing and beating a Halifax store clerk in February of 1998. But that man was never charged. Instead, Shrubsall is on trial for the attack on Tammy Donnison.

Karen Pauls explains. Up until the middle of this week, jurors have been hearing evidence from people who saw a suspicious man in and around the area Tammy Donnison was attacked. Two witnesses were able to identify William Shrubsall out of a police photo line-up.

But on Wednesday, jurors started watching a 7-hour videotaped police interview with a different man, named Danny Myette. He spends most of the time denying that he attacked Donnison.

But after about six hours of questioning, Myette says, "I did it, man." Myette was arrested, but released the same day because police didn't have enough evidence to hold him.

The interviewing officer, Sgt. Tony Reeves, says he was concerned about the bizarre nature of the interview.

Myette has a history of schizophrenia. He told Reeves he'd confessed because he'd shaved his legs that morning and thought he was a woman.

Myette was released from police custody and put into psychiatric care at the Nova Scotia hospital. Four months later, police charged Shrubsall with the attack.

The trial will continue on Monday, when the defense will have a chance to cross-examine Sgt. Reeves.

Donnison is also expected to testify next week.