Closing arguments conclude in Polchies trial
Crown prosecutor tackles defence claim of testimony discrepancies
After eight weeks of testimony from more than 20 witnesses, the closing arguments of the defence and the Crown have wrapped up in the murder trial of Robby Polchies in Fredericton.
Polchies of Kingsclear First Nation is charged with first degree murder in the death of 19-year-old Corey Sisson.
The court has heard that Polchies,34, shot Sisson twice with a shotgun in the middle of the day on a wooded trail in Noonan, outside of Fredericton.
The Crown's two key witnesses, Jahradd Williams and Darrell Green, also said that at the time of the alleged murder they used crystal meth. They had all smoked the drug on July 29, 2019, the day Polchies allegedly shot Sisson.
In his closing arguments, Crown prosecutor Rodney Jordan told the jury the Crown's case doesn't depend solely on the testimony of Williams or Green, who he concedes minimized their involvement in what happened that day and in the days following.
As an example, he pointed to Green's contention he accidentally deleted messages that could have been used in the case.
Jordan said both Green and Williams were involved in the drug world and would have wanted to keep out of trouble or avoid being labeled a "rat".
"That's not a justification, but it might be an explanation about why sometimes you would minimize what you did, because they have to go back to their lives after this trial is over," Jordan said.
Jordan walked the jury through testimony and evidence that he said confirms both witnesses stories.
He said testimony of a store clerk in the Pepper Creek G-Mart, where Williams and Polchies went directly after the alleged shooting, lined up with what Williams told the court.
Jordan also noted police found the body in the area where Williams led them in Noonan, and that the events of the day as recalled by Williams and Green, who were not friends, lined up, including their independent descriptions of a shotgun Polchies is alleged to have used.
"That, from the Crown's perspective, is completely confirmatory," said Jordan.
Jordan also addressed the defence's questioning of the wounds Sisson suffered. Williams said in her testimony in court that one shot hit him in the neck and another in the chest.
But in previous statements to police she said he was shot in the head, an inconsistency the defence noted.
The pathologist who performed the autopsy testified that the likeliest cause of death was two gunshot wounds to the torso.
"The bottom line is shot is shot and dead is dead," said Jordan, "and in this case the Crown submits that Robby Polchies is guilty of first degree murder."
Court of Queen's Bench Justice Terrence Morrison is expected to give his instructions to the jury Friday morning.