Drugs, rap, social media loom large in Neville trial
Warning: This story contains offensive language
Evidence revealed during the trial of Steven Neville, 22, shows that he and two of his former friends were steeped in the culture of Facebook posting, text messaging, gangsta rap music, and the suburban St. John's drug trade.
Neville, 22, is on trial for the murder of Doug Flynn and the attempted murder of Ryan Dwyer.
In the months before Flynn was fatally stabbed in Paradise on Oct. 9, 2010, his friend Dwyer received and sent 15,000 messages, mostly text messages, on his cellphone.
Text messages could influence trial outcome
Most of Dwyer's texts were not entered as evidence, but those that were could be interpreted as helping both the Crown and the defence in the trial.
For example, Neville's defence team cited a message exchange on Oct. 5, 2010 between Dwyer and his younger brother.
Dwyer's brother texted, "Some s--t goin' down this weekend alright. We're making a master plan ... "
Dwyer texted back, "hahaha i already got the plans."
On the stand, Dwyer said those texts were about him getting back in the drug trade.
On Oct. 8, 2010 - the day before the stabbings - Dwyer texted, "I just seen neville man i f----n' hate him i wanna f----n' kill him."
"Im gettin that bastard tonight man."
Dwyer texted those messages to Doug Flynn, who was stabbed to death the next day.
'Just an expression'
Dwyer admitted he texted about 10 times that he wanted to kill Neville, but he said the words were just an expression, and he just wanted to fight Neville.
The court has also seen evidence of Facebook postings by Dwyer that allegedly angered Neville, including one which read "Kick in the door, wavin the four four all ya heard was granny neville saying don't hit me no more."
The wording was a reference to Neville's mother, combined with the lyrics of a rap song by Notorious B.I.G., an American rapper who was shot and killed in Los Angeles in 1997.
Dwyer testified that he wasn't really attacking Neville's mother, and that his Facebook posting was just a cheap shot at Neville.
In another text, Dwyer said he would "bend over granny neville."
In response to questions from Neville's lawyer, Peter Ralph, Dwyer said the text didn't mean he planned to rape Neville's mother. Instead, Dwyer said the text was another attempt to insult Neville and find him so some other young men he knew could rob Neville.
Neville, Flynn texting on night of stabbing
Neville, no slouch at texting himself, sent a message to a friend on Oct. 8, 2010 which read, "They are dead, dead, dead, I'm stabbing them until they are squirting blood."
Doug Flynn, the man Neville is accused of killing, posted a Facebook message just hours before he was killed which read, "neville tried to bearmace me, imma blow em off the map A.S.A.P."
The second phrase is a play on a lyric by American rapper T.I. "A n----r try to play me, I'm a blow him off the map A.S.A.P."
Flynn's final text message, sent just before he was fatally stabbed, said, "Is Neville there? If so, I'm coming down to fight him."