Nfld. & Labrador

Stabbing victim wanted back in drug trade, jury told

The jury in a St. John's murder trial has heard the defence's theory as to why Ryan Dwyer was out to get murder suspect Steven Neville.
Ryan Dwyer, seen heading to Supreme Court earlier this week, was challenged by Steven Neville's defence. (CBC)

The jury in a St. John's murder trial has heard the defence's theory as to why Ryan Dwyer was out to get murder suspect Steven Neville.

Neville is standing trial for the October 2010 stabbing death of Doug Flynn on a suburban street in Paradise, as well as for the attempted murder of Dwyer, who has testified that he and Neville had been friends.

Steven Neville is being tried for murdering Doug Flynn, and the attempted murder of Ryan Dwyer. (CBC )

Dwyer had earlier told the jury that his younger brother had lent Neville $65, and that Neville had attempted to repay the loan with cocaine. Dwyer said he was angry that Neville, a drug dealer, was trying to hook his 16-year-old brother into a life of hard drugs.

Through the trial, the defence has been hinting that the explanation was not enough to justify the falling-out.

On Thursday, defence lawyer Peter Ralph put it to Dwyer: "You wanted back in the drug business. You were trying to scare him out of the drug business."

Dwyer has admitted that he was in the drug trade from January 2010 to August 2010, and that he dealt cocaine, ecstasy and marijuana.

He said he got out of the trade because he was starting to feel heat from the police.

D for 'drugs'

But the defence says that evidence suggests more than that.

In one of several text messages sent to someone whom Dwyer called Nick D. — the D stood for drugs, and Dwyer says he never knew the man's last name — he wrote, "I want to get back on the go."

Dwyer had been getting cocaine from Nick D, and Neville still was at the time.

Under cross examination, Dwyer admitted he told Nick D that Neville was a rat.

"What did you want him to do?" Ralph asked.

"Stop selling him cocaine," Dwyer replied, referring to Neville.

Dwyer admitted that after getting out of the drug business, he felt a financial crunch.

However, he said he was not trying to scare Neville out of the trade.

Neville's lawyers maintain that he was acting in self defence that night, and that he was frightened for his life.