William Sandeson claims he killed Taylor Samson in self-defence, dumped physique in Bay of Fundy – Halifax

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The defence opened its case in William Sandeson‘s first-degree homicide trial Monday, saying he acted in self-defence when he killed Taylor Samson in the summertime of 2015.

Sandeson’s lawyer, Alison Craig, informed the courtroom there may be “no dispute” that Sandeson shot Samson, killing him, however mentioned he didn’t intend to finish his life.

Sandeson, now 30, is accused of killing 22-year-old Samson throughout a 20-pound hashish deal.

Samson was final seen on safety footage coming into Sandeson’s residence the night of Aug. 15, 2015. His physique has by no means been discovered.

Sandeson took the stand in his personal defence Monday, which opened the fifth week of the trial. Throughout his testimony, he mentioned he shot Samson in a battle over a gun and dumped his physique within the Bay of Fundy.

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1:51 Crown closes case in William Sandeson retrial

Sandeson mentioned he started promoting hashish in the summertime of 2014. On the time of Samson’s demise the next yr, he was promoting hashish, magic mushrooms and MDMA out of his residence on Henry Road.

Whereas he had debt, Sandeson mentioned he was “doing very effectively” financially, making about $8,000 per thirty days by way of drug offers and three jobs.

Sandeson mentioned he acquired a gun license in 2015, as a result of he mentioned the individuals he “handled” in Montreal had been “uncomfortable” with him driving backwards and forwards between Halifax and Montreal with out safety.

After shopping for his gun, Sandeson mentioned he introduced it to Montreal as soon as and to the gun vary twice. Apart from that, “it didn’t depart my secure” in his bed room, he mentioned.

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Sandeson mentioned he didn’t need individuals to know he had a gun, as he didn’t need any of his mates or acquaintances dealing with it or “enjoying with it.”

Sandeson takes the stand. Craig asks normal questions. He is 30 now, was 22 in Aug 2015. He grew up in Decrease Truro. He has three youthful brothers (22, 24, 27). Says he had loving mother and father rising up, a farm property to journey on, performed sports activities, with help of household. — Callum Smith (@smithc902) February 6, 2023

Sandeson mentioned he met Samson a complete of 3 times. The primary time they met was on Aug. 5, 2015 after being launched by a person named “Jeff,” whom Sandeson knew by way of the drug commerce.

Sandeson informed the court docket that he was searching for somebody who would deal hashish in items of 20 kilos, that he was uninterested in the commute to Montreal and seeking to “wrap up my drug dealing in Halifax.”

He mentioned he spoke with “everybody I knew dealing in pound portions” to seek out somebody who may provide 20 kilos. Samson dealt in these portions, Sandeson testified.

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After an preliminary introduction at Jeff’s residence on Aug. 5, Sandeson mentioned he met Samson for the second time on Aug. 13. The 2 met at Samson’s residence on South Road, the place he checked out Samson’s merchandise and mentioned costs.

Sandeson mentioned he was capable of negotiate the value to $2,000 per pound — down from $2,100 — on a lower-grade pressure of weed, however he mentioned no commitments had been made that night time.

Expressing a worry of being robbed, Sandeson mentioned he usually pretended to work for another person for his personal security — “individuals wouldn’t essentially wish to comply with round and rob an middleman who’s engaged on behalf of different individuals,” he mentioned — and informed Samson that he would wish to seek the advice of the particular person he represented, who didn’t truly exist.

He and Samson texted one another throughout Aug. 14, and a deal finally got here collectively on Aug. 15.

The night time of Samson’s demise

That night time, Sandeson mentioned he went out to dinner together with his girlfriend on the time, Sonja Gashus, round 7 or 8 p.m.

He mentioned she had plans later to look at a TV present with one in every of her mates, which might give him time to do the cope with Samson, he testified.

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Nonetheless, Sandeson mentioned he “wasn’t fully satisfied” that he wished to satisfy up with Samson. He mentioned Samson was “rushing issues up on quick discover” and wished to promote extra weed than was initially mentioned.

Sandeson defined the 2 had beforehand talked about shifting 5 to 10 kilos of hashish at a time, however Samson indicated on Aug. 15 that he had 20 kilos able to go.

Sandeson mentioned he felt safer when “there’d be much less cash and medicines in a single place at anybody time.”

He additionally informed the court docket that he informed Samson his residence was a “secure home” — not wanting Samson to know the place he lived — which Samson appeared “delay” by.

Sandeson mentioned whereas the deal was $40,000 for 20 kilos, he didn’t have all of the money with him on the time. Sandeson informed the court docket he was solely intending on giving Samson $10,000 that night time.

He mentioned he additionally deliberate to confront Samson about “one thing else that occurred earlier within the week” — an alleged residence invasion and theft at an acquaintance’s residence that Samson was purportedly concerned in.

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After dinner, Sandeson mentioned he requested Gashus to park their automobile on the road, somewhat than of their driveway, “to maintain the automobile unassociated” with the residence.

“If in confronting Taylor, issues ended on a bitter word, I didn’t need him leaving with the thought in his thoughts that I lived there, or that the automobile was related to me or that handle,” he testified.

Whereas Gashus beforehand testified that Sandeson had requested her to depart, Sandeson says he doesn’t recall asking her to depart.

Nonetheless, he mentioned he believes he informed her {that a} drug assembly would happen “to finish my involvement in drug trafficking.”

Sandeson mentioned after Gashus left to go to her mates’ place, he labored to “anonymize” the residence — eradicating and hiding any references to himself and Dalhousie College.

Sandeson says he was solely intending on giving Samson $10,000 that night time. Court docket breaks for lunch. — Callum Smith (@smithc902) February 6, 2023

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He additionally ready his residence for a possible theft, hiding his money and MDMA. He mentioned he had theft on his thoughts as a result of Jordan MacEwan, whose residence was allegedly invaded and robbed by Samson, had warned him the day past.

Sandeson mentioned the night of Aug. 15, he went to the residence of Pookiel McCabe, who lived throughout the corridor, asking him to hold round that night in case one thing occurred.

“I believed somebody would possibly attempt to rob the residence,” he informed the jury.

‘I pulled the set off’

Safety video footage from Sandeson’s residence constructing’s hallway reveals Sandeson coming into round 10:25 p.m., with Samson strolling behind him, carrying a big black duffel bag.

Sandeson informed the court docket he had put in safety cameras in his residence in late spring or early summer time to maintain monitor of who was coming out and in.

Sandeson mentioned Samson made a comment concerning the cameras with “some discomfort,” and he mentioned he made a “lame joke” in an try and put him comfortable.

He mentioned as soon as they had been contained in the residence, he supplied Samson a beer, in an try at a “diplomatic interplay, for lack of a greater time period.”

1:42 Homicide trial: Crown shares texts extracted from William Sandeson’s telephone

Sandeson mentioned Samson “shot that down,” saying he wished to “get this the f— over with.”

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He testified that he went to his bed room, the place he had $10,000 in money, and set it in entrance of Samson and informed him to rely it.

As Samson counted, Sandeson mentioned he dumped the hashish out of the duffel bag, put 5 kilos of hashish again inside, and set it on a chair.

“The following factor I keep in mind, he requested me the place the remainder of the cash is, and I informed him that he already acquired the remainder of the cash from Jordan,” mentioned Sandeson, referring to the alleged residence invasion two nights earlier.

He mentioned Samson turned agitated, “swearing in just about each change going ahead.” Sandeson mentioned he informed Samson he was “fortunate” to be getting something in any respect.

That’s when, Sandeson testified, he lifted the saggy sweatshirt he was sporting to point out him the gun he had within the entrance proper pocket of his pants.

Requested by Craig why he confirmed Samson the gun, Sandeson mentioned he “thought it could defuse the scenario.”

“When you see a gun, then you definately’re going to take heed to the particular person with the gun,” he informed the court docket.

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Sandeson claimed Samson finally mentioned one thing to the impact of “Is your fairly girlfriend residence?”

“That surprised me, as a result of I didn’t assume he knew that was my residence,” Sandeson testified.

He alleged Samson started lunging at him in an try and get the gun, and at some factors each of their fingers had been on the firearm as they jostled for it.

Finally, following an try and seize the gun, Sandeson mentioned he shot Samson.

“I pulled the set off,” mentioned Sandeson, his voice breaking.

“Subsequent factor I keep in mind is, I couldn’t hear something. I keep in mind voicing the phrases, ‘What the f—?’ and I couldn’t hear it.”

He mentioned Samson was slumped in a chair, and he mentioned he heard a breath come from him that “didn’t sound pure.”

Sandeson mentioned he checked Samson’s neck for a pulse and seen there was blood “in every single place throughout his head and neck.”

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He described the remainder of the night time as “blurry.” He mentioned he ran to McCabe’s residence throughout the corridor and informed him and customer Justin Blades to get out, as he didn’t need them to get in bother.

McCabe and Blades had beforehand testified they noticed a person slumped over in Sandeson’s residence that night time.

1:50 William Sandeson homicide trial hears from key witnesses

Sandeson mentioned he felt “terrified, in whole shock.”

“I didn’t know what to do, what to assume. It didn’t appear actual,” he mentioned.

Requested why he didn’t name for assist, Sandeson mentioned as soon as he noticed how a lot blood there was, he knew there was nothing he may do for Samson.

He indicated he didn’t name the police as a result of he knew he would get in bother, noting there was “bloody medicine and cash in every single place.”

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“There was a lot in there. … I used to be positively going to go to jail for one thing,” he mentioned.

That’s when he set to work cleansing the residence, he mentioned.

“I didn’t have a clue what I used to be doing. Like a rooster with its head reduce off,” mentioned Sandeson.

He mentioned he turned off his cameras round 11:30 p.m. as a result of that’s when he began taking out the rubbish and shifting Samson’s physique.

The “bloodiest” of the rubbish, Sandeson mentioned, he bagged up and put in a inexperienced bin outdoors his residence.

He mentioned he put Samson contained in the black duffel bag and put the bag within the trunk of his Mazda.

Gashus had beforehand testified that when she returned, the residence smelled like bleach and Sandeson appeared “rattled.”

1:45 William Sandeson homicide trial hears from accused’s ex-girlfriend

Throughout his testimony Monday, he mentioned he informed her somebody on the assembly “freaked out,” there was a combat and it acquired bloody.

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That night time, Sandeson mentioned he was unable to sleep and texted numerous individuals. He additionally mentioned he texted Samson’s quantity, in what he described as a “lame try” to make it appear to be he didn’t present up that night time.

‘I didn’t know what to do’

The following morning, Sandeson mentioned he drove round with Samson’s physique in his automobile, not sure of the place to depart it.

He mentioned he went to a fuel station within the Stewiacke space and purchased a drink. After pouring it over Samson’s telephone, he mentioned he left it in a rubbish can.

Sandeson testified he pulled right into a car parking zone close to Truro, and carried Samson’s physique onto a dike, putting it within the tides of the Bay of Fundy.

“I had been raised cautiously to worry the Fundy bay,” he mentioned, referencing its sturdy tides.

He mentioned he stored the duffel bag, pondering it could “stand out” if he left it.

“Taylor was coated in rubbish baggage, and I didn’t assume somebody could be as prone to take (them),” he mentioned.

Sandeson says he carried Taylor to a spot on Fundy aspect of dike and put him within the water. “Taylor was coated in rubbish baggage,” Sandeson says. — Callum Smith (@smithc902) February 6, 2023

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Sandeson described taking extra rubbish out on Aug. 18 – this time, to Truro, the place his mother and father lived.

“I wished to speak to my dad,” Sandeson informed the jury. “I used to be scared, I didn’t know what to do.”

He mentioned he didn’t find yourself speaking to his father, however disposed of the rubbish in a “construction” on the farm.

Sandeson was arrested the identical day. He admitted to “not fully” telling the reality to the officer who interviewed him.

“I used to be a drug trafficker. My gun had been out of the secure at a time that it shouldn’t have been,” he mentioned.

“There have been different crimes I may’ve been in bother for.”

‘Somebody’s son’

Throughout cross-examination, Crown lawyer Carla Ball requested extra questions concerning the disposal of Samson’s physique.

“Did it ever happen to you that it was somebody’s son … brother … boyfriend?” she requested.

He responded: sure.

By dumping him within the bay, “you knew that no person would ever get better the stays of Taylor Samson,” Ball mentioned.

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Ball additionally reviewed Sandeson’s medical college expertise on the Saba College College of Medication within the Caribbean.

She steered that Sandeson would have taken programs that may have skilled him tips on how to dissect a physique.

Sandeson’s cross-examination is anticipated to proceed Tuesday morning.

— with information from Callum Smith