Husband and wife recall seeing their friend for the last time before he was murdered
Friends of Patrick Dong said the last time they saw the 37-year-old, he was being dragged out of their home and into the back of a truck.
Brendan Hein and his wife Jessica McIntyre testified at Saskatoon’s Court of Queen’s Bench on Tuesday, in a woman’s murder trial.
A 19-year-old woman has been charged in connection with the death of Dong.
The accused can’t be named under the Youth Criminal Justice Act because she was 17 when the alleged murder occurred.
In an agreed statement of facts submitted to the court, the accused stabbed the victim six times in the leg on Oct. 22, 2016, causing him to bleed out and eventually die.
Dong’s body was found on the outskirts of Saskatoon, in the Rural Municipality of Corman Park a day later.
The accused has entered a not-guilty plea.
The teenager charged with the murder can’t be named under the Youth Criminal Justice Act because she was 17 when the alleged murder occurred.
On the witness stand Hien, 29, told the court a heated argument broke out in his home between Dong and a couple of others Hein knew.
Dong was accused of stealing a cellphone, speakers and other personal items from his friends. The witness told the court he was high on crystal meth, and almost everyone else in the room was high as well. Hein said he had seen them all smoking earlier in the day.
Hein recalls Dong being scared while pleading with his friends saying, “I didn’t steal anything, why are you doing this to me?”
During this shouting match, Hein told the court he remembered seeing the accused playing with an eight-inch switchblade in the kitchen. Hein said he distinctly remembers seeing a rainbow-coloured blade being swung by the accused.
Eventually the argument spilled outside the home. Hein told the court he remembers seeing Dong try and escape the grip of the other men as they dragged him outside.
Dong was led into the backseat of the gold GMC truck, while others piled into the back and front seats. The 29-year-old witness couldn’t confirm if the accused was in the truck when it drove away.
The day following the altercation, Hein said his friend Kyle, one of the men arguing with Dong, threatened him and his wife – saying if he ever spoke to police about what happened that day, a gang member would come and kill them both.
Wife recounts different version of events, Dong’s demeanour
Hein’s wife, McIntyre, recalled Dong and four others were in her home as Dong faced a barrage of accusations from his friends who pointed to Doug as a thief.
Unable to handle the shouting and arguing, McIntyre walked upstairs and drew a bath, hoping the flowing water would drown out the shouting below.
McIntyre told the court she last heard from Dong as he was leaving her house with the others. She told the court, she didn’t think Dong was stressed or fearful. The woman said Dong’s goodbye gave her no indication that it would be the last time she would see him.
Under cross-examination from defense lawyer Carson Demmans, McIntyre wasn’t certain if the accused got into the vehicle with Dong and the others.
The witness said the accused came back to her home one week later demanding cash from Kyle, who stayed at their home. She recalls the accused saying, “You owe me money, I did this for you.”21 days awake, 4 hours of sleep
21 days awake, 4 hours of sleep
Later in the trial, the Crown called on Claude Gauthier.
The 27-year-old is currently serving a seven-year manslaughter sentence, for his involvement in Dong’s death.
He’s the man who drove the gold Chevrolet Silverado outside the city with Dong and others.
Gauthier admitted he was in the middle of a “bender” at the time of Dong’s death. He estimated he’d been awake for 21 days having only 4 hours of sleep, in the form of naps, during that timeframe.
Despite having gone through his own trial, Gauthier offered few concise answers to the prosecutor’s line of questioning.
Several moments during his testimony, Gauthier told Crown prosecutor Michael Pilon he had no recollection of what happened during that October night.
“I don’t have a full vision of what happened … I’m not 100 per cent clear on the facts,” he said.
Referencing Gauthier’s testimony from his trial, Pilon pointed out that Gauthier did in know what happened moments leading up to Dong’s death. However, the witness stuck to his story.
Gauthier told the court that he’s “spent a long time trying to forget that night,” after his sentencing earlier this year.
Pilon told the court that when he met with Gauthier before the trial, Gauthier expressed fear about going back to prison labelled as “a rat” for his testimony. Gauthier was reminded by both Pilon and the judge, that the line of questioning wasn’t anything new, and that the facts of the case were already spelled out in the agreed statement of facts.
The trial is expected to resume on Wednesday.