Witness says 'it was a ruckus' the night Bradley Winsor died in 2017
'There's like six people trying to get one person out and he's not wanting to leave'
Three people have now testified they saw Daniel Hodgson put Bradley Winsor in a chokehold shortly before Winsor died, but the details that led up to the act remain fuzzy.
Winsor was found unresponsive at a house in Apex, Nunavut, in May 2017.
Hodgson, 41, has pleaded not guilty to a charge of second degree murder. His trial began Tuesday at the Nunavut Court of Justice.
Witness Crystal Mullin had just finished moving into her new house before the party that ended in Winsor's death.
She said everyone was having a good time at first, but she grew annoyed with Winsor after he tried to follow her into her bedroom, even after she asked him to stop.
"He wouldn't back off when he was told to back off," she said. "He was in everyone's face."
Mantra Ford-Perkins was also at the party with Hodgson, who she described as a long-time friend. She testified that she was having a good time when she noticed Winsor being aggressive with Mullin.
She roused Hodgson from a bedroom to help deal with Winsor.
"It was a ruckus," Ford-Perkins said. "There's like six people trying to get one person out and he's not wanting to leave and he's being rude and difficult about it and he's kinda laughing at us."
After Hodgson put Winsor in a headlock, Ford-Perkins saw Winsor turn bright red.
"We started yelling at him, 'Let him go, let him go.'"
She said Hodgson wasn't holding Winsor long before he let go. Winsor fell to the floor and did not move again.
Several people rolled Winsor over and began performing CPR, she recalled, while Hodgson screamed for someone to call an ambulance.
Then Hodgson asked her to get him out of there, "and I did."
The pair drove away from Apex before turning around to follow an ambulance heading toward Mullin's house. She said Hodgson got out of the car to go back to the scene of the party, then changed his mind and came back to the vehicle. The pair went to Ford-Perkins' house nearby, where they watched the ambulance and police vehicles through the window.
They returned to Mullin's house later that morning to find out what had happened. A lone police officer was the only person on the scene. He told them everyone else had left.
Crown prosecutor Benjamin Flight and defence lawyer Ilan Neuman have both asked witnesses whether Winsor was taking cocaine on the night in question. All have said that if so, they didn't see it happen.
All three witnesses have also said they were drinking that night and that details from four years ago are hard to remember.
The Crown plans to call four more witnesses, including two expert witnesses. Then it'll be up to the defence to present its version of events.
The trial is scheduled to last another week and a half.