Saskatchewan

Informant testifies accused killer Duran Redwood admitted to beating girlfriend

Duran Redwood's acquaintance testified Wednesday at the second-degree murder trial. The man said Redwood confided in him about what happened the night Celeste Yawney died.

Redwood is accused of killing Celeste Yawney in 2015

Duran Redwood is pleading not guilty to second-degree murder in the death of 33-year-old Celeste Yawney. (CBC)

Duran Redwood suspected Celeste Yawney was with another man so he went to her home and kicked in her door, according to testimony given by Redwood's acquaintance at Regina's Court of Queen's Bench on Wednesday. 

The acquaintance was called to testify before the jury at the second-degree murder trial for Redwood. 

Redwood has entered a plea of not guilty to second-degree murder in the May 2015 death of his girlfriend Yawney.

The 36-year-old witness cannot be identified due to a publication ban. He told the jury he went to police with information after Redwood confided in him several times about what had happened in 2017.

The witness said Redwood told him he found Yawney alone in her house but still proceeded to assault her.  

He said Redwood described drinking with Yawney earlier in the evening at her home on Ingersoll Crescent. However, the two got into an argument so Redwood and his friend allegedly left the home and went to the liquor store.

The witness said Redwood — driven by jealousy — decided to go back after he and his friend parted ways. Redwood expected to find Yawney and his friend "hooking up," the witness said. 

Celeste Yawney, a mother to two, was 33 when she was killed in her own home. (Submitted by Laurel Gardiner)

The witness said Redwood knocked at the door but Yawney didn't answer.

"He kicked in the door and entered the house."

She was alone.

"He hit her a couple of times, knocked her out," the witness said, adding Redwood began to panic when she didn't wake up.

The witness said Redwood dragged Yawney's unconscious body to the bathtub and ran the water "figuring it would snap her out of it."

She was bleeding from her mouth and nose at that point, the witness testified he was told, later adding Redwood described himself as "pretty pissed off" and drunkenly pacing around the home.

The witness alleged Redwood focused his punches on Yawney's abdomen to prevent visible bruises "in case she pressed charges after the fact."

Co-Crown prosecutor Constance Hottinger asked how Redwood appeared as he spoke about what happened.

"He just seemed empty," the witness said. "No sadness. No sorrow. No anger. Just emptiness."

Hottinger asked why the witness went forward to police.

"At the end of the day, it's wrong to kill someone and I don't believe that anyone should get away with murder," he answered.

Defence lawyer Kevin Hill suggested during cross examination that the witness went to police in order to get leniency on pending charges.

He played parts of the audio statement that highlighted this request.

Hill also questioned the witness about his credibility.

He suggested the witness had shown a pattern of dishonesty in his life and accused him of lying whenever it served his purposes. Hill suggested Redwood didn't confess anything about what happened to Yawney, rather he told the witness details of the Crown's theory against him.

Hill also addressed the lengthy criminal record of the witness, which spanned several years, and his former addiction to crystal meth.

Sgt. Pierre Beauchesne with the Regina Police Service also testified Wednesday.

He told the jury that he recorded an audio and video statement with the witness after the witness had approached the Major Crimes Unit. The jury heard the witness had pending criminal charges at the time he went to police.

"He has not received anything for this information," Beauchesne testified.

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