KEY ISSUE IN MURDER TRIAL: WAS COP EASILY IDENTIFIED?
Was Constable Daniel Tessier clearly identified as a police officer when he was killed during the raid last year at Basil Parasiris's home?
The question, which is bound to be a recurring key issue during the jury trial at the Longueuil courthouse where Parasiris stands accused of first-degree murder, was raised for the first time yesterday by defence lawyer Jacques Larochelle.
While cross-examining Ed Yoshiyama, an RCMP crime scene technician, Larochelle drew the jury's attention to a photo taken of the bulletproof vest Tessier was wearing when he was fatally shot March 2, 2007. Tessier was conducting an early morning raid at the Brossard home along with eight other Laval police officers. The photo was taken hours after Tessier was removed in an ambulance.
The photo clearly shows that the word "police" written in black letters on a white background at the front of Tessier's bulletproof vest was completely covered by black material. The material is part of the vest and gives an officer the choice of revealing the word "police" or obscuring it. The photo suggests Tessier, who was one of the first officers to enter the house, chose to cover it.
The same issue was also raised during the testimony of Yan Marchand, a man who was working as an medical aide at the Charles LeMoyne Hospital, when Tessier was brought in by ambulance after he was shot.
Marchand said he was one of two people who tried to revive Tessier. While answering questions from both Larochelle and crown prosecutor Joelle St. Germain, Marchand said he knew he was trying to revive a police officer, but couldn't recall why.
"He was wearing dark pants with pockets on the sides and boots," Marchand said when asked if he recalled what suggested to him that Tessier was a police officer.
Marchand later said he recalled placing Tessier's baseball cap - which has a Laval police logo on the front - in a bag after Tessier was declared dead. He said the baseball cap was near Tessier's feet on the stretcher the constable was brought in on.
The jury was also told Tessier was wearing his badge on the front his utility belt and that a patch, of the Laval police logo, was embroidered near the shoulder of a shirt he wore during the raid.
Besides being charged with first-degree murder, Parasiris is also charged with three counts related to Stephane Forbes, a Laval police constable who was shot and injured during the raid.
The charges include attempted murder, intent to wound a person with a firearm and endangering a person's life with a firearm.
The trial resumes today.
Montreal Gazette (CN QU)
Copyright: 2008 Canwest Publishing Inc.
There was no mention of the type of drugs they were after, but leo has to realize that both sides stand a chance of getting killed!! in situations when guns and raids are involved. Why didn't they just knock on his door??