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Accused testifies at first degree murder trial

Last Updated Sep 17, 2018 at 8:56 am MST

PHOTO. Fort McMurray Court House 2017. Nathalia Cordeau-Hilliard. Reporter.

Trevor Powder the accused in a first degree murder trial took the stand to testify this week.

Powder has pleaded not guilty to the first-degree murder in relation to death of Tyler McDermid, who was found shot in his Conklin home.

During his time on the stand Powder recalled drinking and smoking pot after he finished work then leaving with several others to continue drinking at another location.

Powder said that after an altercation with the home-owner he left, noticed a bonfire and decided to join that group which included his co-accused Codie Deranger.

When asked by defence lawyer Darin Sprake how intoxicated he was at this point, on a scale of one to 10, Powder replied eight.

After several people left, he said he mentioned wanting cocaine and if he had a gun he’d rob the guys “up the hill” and according to him, this is when Deranger brought out a rifle and they made a plan to kick in the door and ask for the drugs and money.

He said that at some point he realized this wouldn’t work since he considered the drug dealer a friend and would be recognized since they only planned to use bandanas to cover their faces and he was wearing basketball shorts and flip flops.

Sprake asked him again to rate his level of intoxication and Powder said at this point he was around a nine.

Powder recalled as they approached the house, the dogs started barking. He said he then hid behind a tree in the yard, laying on his stomach with the rifle pointed towards the house.

He said he had no intention of firing the gun, even though it had been loaded and safeties had been de-activated, but when he went to stand up the gun fired so he and Deranger ran.

“In my head I know I never meant to kill that guy.”

Joseph Prendergast, a firearms expert who tested the rifle allegedly said the gun never fired during “jar-off” tests. The tests involved dropping the gun from 2 ft. on different angles for a total of 6 drops and having the rifle fall on different angles while leaning on a wall to determine if the firearm could fire accidentally.

Sprake addressed the jury on Wednesday asking them to take into consideration Powder’s intentions when deciding if he should be charged with first degree murder or manslaughter.

Crown Prosecutor Jim Sawa rebutted, stating that intoxication levels can’t properly be proven, do not provide adequate evidence and shouldn’t be used as a method to measure intention.

The Jury should have their decision on Friday.