Manitoba

Gang members refuse to testify at Haiart trial

Two witnesses have refused to testify in front of the jury in the trial of Jeffrey Cansanay, who is charged with killing Winnipeg teen Phil Haiart and injuring another man.

Twowitnesseshave refused to testify in front of the jury in the trial of Jeffrey Cansanay,who is charged withkilling Winnipeg teen Phil Haiart and injuring another man.

Cansanay, 21, has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder in the death of Haiart and attempted murder ofa second man who was injured at the same time.

The two men were shot while walking in Winnipeg's West End neighbourhood in October 2005. The Crown is arguing that they were shot while Cansanay was firing at two rival gang members.

Cory Amyotte, who was named in earlier testimony as a founder and top member of the Mad Cowz street gang, took the stand Wednesday.

Instead of testifying, as expected, about events involving a crack house on McGee Street near the site of the shooting, Amyotte simply said, "No."

He refused to swear on a Bible, and he refused to affirm that his testimony would be truthful.

In a low voice, he said, "I don't know the truth."

Justice Morris Kaufman warned Amyotte that he could face charges for contempt if he didn't testify. Amyotte appeared to shrug off the warning.

Amyotte is the second gang member who has refused to give testimony this week. Gharib Abdullah received the same warning from the judge.

'It's the West End. There's gunshots.'

The jury did hear testimony from Samantha Bone, who said she was a sex-trade worker on the streets of the West Endat the time of the shooting.

Bone admitted buyingcrack cocaineat the McGee Streethouse just minutes before the shooting.

Shetold the jury she couldn't remember if she'd seen Cansanay in the area at the time.She did remember seeing children on bikes scattering after the shots were fired.

She did not try to determine what the shooting was about, she said.

"What was I supposed to do? It's Winnipeg. It's the West End. There's gunshots," she testified.

"When you hear gunshots, you're not going to stop your life. It's the West End. You're not going to stick your nose into someone else's business."

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