Police tape and tarps around the Gyoba residence last June.

Police tape and tarps around the Gyoba residence last June.

Gyoba murder trial begins

Shane Gyoba is being tried in Kamloops for the murder of his uncle, Ed Gyoba at his home in Ashcroft last year.

  • Aug. 11, 2015 4:00 p.m.

by Tim Petruk

Kamloops This Week

The trial of an Ashcroft man accused of murdering his uncle last summer began in a Kamloops courtroom on Monday, with the accused muttering to himself and turning often to stare at people seated in the gallery.

Shane Gyoba, 29, is charged with second-degree murder. His uncle, Ed Gyoba, was killed on June 2, 2014, at a home on Cedar Crescent in Ashcroft.

The first Crown witness, RCMP Sgt. Paul Bouwman, showed the court hundreds of photos of the crime scene — most focusing on the home’s yard, where the victim’s body was found.

Bouwman said officers set up a tent to protect the body from the sun. Later in the day, he said, the tent was surrounded by tarps and air-conditioning was blasted inside.

The details of the killing have not yet come out in court, but Crown prosecutor Neil Flanagan said the victim died as a result of blunt-force trauma to the head, resulting in a fractured skull and fractured nose.

Flanagan said he expects a neighbour to describe in court what he witnessed the day of the alleged murder.

According to Flanagan, it took the neighbour “some time to process” what he saw.

Throughout Bouwman’s evidence, Gyoba repeatedly turned to offer long stares at the half-dozen people seated in the gallery. An extra sheriff was also in the courtroom for added security.

In addition to the stares, Gyoba also muttered incoherently multiple times. At one point, while Flanagan was addressing concerns that might be raised about Gyoba’s mental health, the accused said,”Mr. Shane Gyoba is not mentally ill. Mr. Ed Gyoba was.”

There will be testimony from members of the Ashcroft RCMP Detachment as well as several Ashcroft witnesses.

The trial is slated to last three weeks, but Flanagan said he expects it to wrap up after two weeks.