Defendants’ version of events ‘ridiculous,’ says prosecutor
Nobody invites someone into their house in the middle of the night, shakes their hand, then runs off to get a shotgun, Crown prosecutor Christopher McPherson said Wednesday during closing arguments in the trial of two men charged with killing Aldergrove resident Kyle Barber.
Yet that is exactly what 24-year-old Albert Jacob Jackman and 32-year-old Gregory Michael Barrett claim happened the night of March 28, 2009 when they paid the 24-year-old Barber and his girlfriend a surprise visit.
Jackman is charged with first-degree murder and Barrett is charged with manslaughter in Barber’s stabbing death.
During their trial in B.C, Supreme Court in New Westminster, the pair testified that when they went around 10 p.m. to ask the occupants of a Fraser Highway house about the robbery of a nearby grow op run by Barrett, the couple greeted them calmly.
They said Barber even shook their hands.
While they were talking in the living room, the pair claim Barber suddenly got up and ran to the bedroom to get a shotgun, where he was intercepted by Jackman, who took the gun away.
“It makes no sense,” McPherson said.
“It’s just so blatantly ridiculous. No one is going to let someone into their house politely in the middle of the night.”
Jackman said that he took the gun away from Barber, led Barber downstairs to the basement where he punched the other man in the face then went with Barber back up to the bedroom where the gun had been left.
There, he said Barber tried to go for his gun again after throwing a portable heater at Jackman, who grabbed for a knife on a dressing table to defend himself.
McPherson said Jackman is the only witness who saw Barber grab the shotgun a second time.
It is “nonsensical” to claim, as Jackman did, that he had simply forgotten about the shotgun when he took Barber back into the bedroom, the prosecutor added.
McPherson said Barrett was an even worse witness than Jackman, “evasive and unspecific.”
The prosecutor said the judge should not believe Barrett’s claim that everyone seemed calm after Barber went for the shotgun, and that Jackman was only “a little upset”.
He challenged Barrett’s insistence during the trial that he wasn’t directly involved in the violence, saying “[Barrett is] trying to give an impression of this guy who was just sort of there.”
McPherson said the two men went to the house to extort money from the occupants, not to ask polite questions.
He said the most accurate version of events was offered during the trial by the girlfriend, who said the two men forced their way into the house.
“Her evidence has the ring of truth,” McPherson said.
The girlfriend said Jackman was far more than just a little upset, describing him as the “angriest” person she’d ever seen, McPherson noted.
At The Times deadline, the judge was considering her verdict.