Shayne McGenn attacked his stepfather David Delaney with a frying pan and a knife before he removed his belt and strangled Delaney to death, Crown counsel alleged during the first day of McGenn’s trial on Monday.
McGenn, 35, is being tried for the second-degree murder of Delaney, 63, who was discovered dead in the bedroom of his fourth-floor Abbotsford apartment on Feb. 23, 2016. He died either late on the evening of Feb. 6, 2016 or early in the morning of Feb. 7, Crown lawyer Tyler Dotten said in his opening statement in B.C. Supreme Court in New Westminster.
Also on trial with McGenn is Sarah Sather, 35, who is charged with accessory after the fact. The two were arrested in Penticton, B.C., in May 2016.
Dotten said the Crown’s theory is that McGenn killed Delaney after he became enraged during an argument between the two of them.
McGenn and Sather, who have a child together, were living with Delaney at the time.
McGenn also worked for a period at Big River Restaurant and Taphouse in Coquitlam, where Delaney was a manager.
Dotten said the Crown alleges that Sather was in the apartment at the time of the killing and helped destroy evidence afterwards, including cleaning a knife and wiping up bloody water in the bathroom, where McGenn had showered after the offence.
Dotten said the Crown will present evidence of three confessions made by McGenn – to a friend on April 16, 2016; to police interviewing him while he was in custody on May 15 and 16, 2016; and to a cellmate, who was actually an undercover officer.
“On all accounts given by Mr. McGenn, this was an altercation between these two men that ended in Mr. McGenn removing his own belt and strangling Mr. Delaney to death in Mr. Delaney’s bedroom,” Dotten said.
However, he said that some of the statements made by McGenn do not match up with the physical evidence, including allegations that it was Delaney who wielded the knife during the attack, causing injuries to McGenn’s forearms.
Dotten said footage will be shown in court from three bank ATM cameras. One of them – taken on Feb. 8, 2016 – will show that McGenn had no apparent injuries to his forearms, Dotten stated.
He said there will also be testimony from the forensic pathologist who performed the autopsy on Delaney, showing that Delaney had “incise wounds” on both palms, two cuts to the right sleeve of his shirt and a three-centimetre-deep stab wound to his neck.
Dotten said a blood pattern analyst will testify about what would have happened on the scene to result in the “extensive blood” that was found on Delaney’s bed and two walls of his bedroom.
As well, DNA evidence will be called to prove that it was Delaney’s blood that was found in the blood samples tested, Dotten said.
He said the court will also hear evidence that Sather confessed to McGenn’s mother and to police investigators about what happened on the night Delaney died.
Among the first two witnesses to testify on Monday was the building manager, who said she had returned from a two-week vacation when she received a call from a tenant on Feb. 21, 2016, saying that there was a horrible smell on the fourth floor.
The manager then called the maintenance man to investigate the source, but he was not able to attend until two days later.
The source of the odour could not be found in the tenant’s suite, and the maintenance man then decided to check out the next-door apartment.
The building manager let him in, and it was then that he discovered Delaney’s body, lying face-down and sideways across his bed. He testified that he immediately left the suite and called 911.
The trial is expected to take six weeks, and Dotten said other witnesses who will testify include family, friends and co-workers of Delaney and McGenn, as well as police investigators and first responders.