by Tim Petruk, Kamloops This Week
He stepped outside for a smoke and heard a series of loud thumps as he watched what may have been one man beating another to death.
The murder trial of Shane Gyoba continued in B.C. Supreme Court in Kamloops on Tuesday with the testimony of Gil Anderson, an Ashcroft resident who lived across the street from Gyoba on June 2, 2014 — the day Gyoba is accused of beating his uncle to death with a shovel.
Gyoba, 29, is charged with second-degree murder in connection to the death of Ed Gyoba.
Police were called to the scene at about 9:30 a.m. by Gil Anderson, who lived across the street from Shane Gyoba’s Ashcroft home.
Anderson said the drama began just before 8:40 a.m., when he went outside for a cigarette and heard a shouting match.
“I lit the smoke, and that’s when I heard the sounds of arguing coming from I didn’t know where,” Anderson testified.
“It was louder than regular talking. They sounded angry. I couldn’t hear what words were spoken.”
Anderson said he walked around the side of his house to the driveway and saw, through bushes, two men on Gyoba’s front lawn.
“I couldn’t quite see faces, but I saw two silhouettes through the bushes,” he said.
“I saw the silhouettes on the left attack the one on the right. The one on the right tried to defend itself and the one on the left pursued until the one on the right fell down.”
Anderson said he then saw the attacker pick up something up from the ground and start swinging.
“I could see the long handle and I wasn’t quite sure what it was until I heard the shovel, the first strike,” he said.
“I heard a kind of muffled, garbled voice of an elderly person that kind of groaned and said, ‘You son a bitch.’
“After that, it was two more — I didn’t hear any words, but I could hear the shovel hit two more times.
“It was a reverberating metal sound and a loud thump.”
Anderson said he was shaken by what he witnessed and, at first, convinced himself it wasn’t real.
“I stood there for a second,” he said.
“I couldn’t believe. I was shaky. I couldn’t understand what I’d seen or heard at that point, and it was minutes before I had to walk my daughter to school.”
Anderson said he had to walk directly past Gyoba’s yard to get his daughter to school.
“I made sure to speak loudly to her and keep her eyes on me, just in case there was anything to see,” he said.
“I could hear the sound of digging as I walked by — the sound of the shovel moving earth.”
Anderson said he returned home after dropping off his daughter and decided to call police.
“I think at that point I’d accepted what I’d seen,” he said.
“I’d come to the conclusion that I actually did just see that — that somebody had been assaulted and beat with a shovel 20 feet away.”
A police witness earlier testified investigators found a broken shovel on Gyoba’s property.
Gyoba appeared restless through much of the second day of trial. At one point, his lawyer, Don Campbell, had to tell Gyoba to stop interrupting the proceedings. “Mr. Gyoba, could you please be quiet while we’re trying to do this?” Campbell said.
“Trying to do what?” Gyoba replied. “Waste your own days? Nobody’s having fun here.”
Gyoba’s trial, before a judge alone, is expected to wrap up next week.