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(Updated 1 p.m., April 29)
Crown lays out case against Michael Wassill's accused killer during cross examination

By Fred Sherwin
The Orléans Star

During his first three days on the witness stand, accused murderer Carson Morin told the jury that he was scared to death when he went to Michael Wassill's Fernleaf Crescent home on May 15, 2013.

He went to Wassill's house in Queenswood Heights hoping to get his share of the money earned by an exotic dancer/business partner who had moved out of their shared condo days earlier.

Michael Wassill was 20 years old when he was killed while trying to protect a female friend from the man responsible for his death. FACEBOOK Photo

But Morin never got his money, instead he slit Wassill's throat in what he contends was self-defence after the 20-year-old had "trapped" him inside the house and had him in a bear hug from behind.

After inflicting the fatal injury on Wassill, Morin ran as fast as he could and sped away in his car. At least that's what he told the jury under questioning from his defence lawyer. This week it was the Crown's turn.

During three days of cross examination, Morin stuck to his story, even though it has been challenged by testimony given earlier in the trial by the female witness who cannot be named under a publication ban, but who saw the incident from mere feet away.

According to the young woman, she was sitting on the bottom of the stairs leading upstairs when Morin knocked on the pane of glass beside the front door and motioned her towards him.

She didn't move. Instead, Wassill went to the door, opened it a "crack" and told Morin to leave, or he would call the police.

At that point, young woman testified that Morin forced his way into the house by pushing Wassill backwards. Wassill pushed Morin back and the two briefly struggled before she saw Morin raise his arm and move his hand across Wassill's throat area. She didn't notice anything in Morin's hand, but she did see the result as Wasssill grabbed his throat to try and stem the bleeding. She started screaming hysterically at which point Morin ran out the door to his car.

During his own testimony, Morin said that he was afraid that he was walking into a trap. In order to boost his confidence he put on a pair of blue latex utility gloves. He also took a box-cutter-style knife from the console of his car and placed it in the middle pocket of this hoody.

When Wassill came to the door, Morin testified that he told him he was only there to get his money, at which point Wassill raised his left arm in what Morin described as a treatening motion. He responded by pushing Wassill forcefully in the chest while stepping up from the landing to the treshold.

Rather than forcing his way inside, Morin said his momentum omehow carried his weight through the doorway and into the front foyer.

Once inside, Morin testified that Wassill pushed him backwards against the door, forcing it to close and "trapping" him inside. Wassill than grabbed him from behind in a "bear hug".

Fearing for his safety, Morin sais he fumbled for the box-cutter in his pocket and in one motion pulled it out, extended the blade, broke out of Wassill's grip and swung wildly behind him at should height as he spun around. When he saw that Wassil was bleeding from his throat he ran away.

That is how Morin explained what happened under questioning from his lawyer.

During cross examinaton, the Crown Attorney Lia Bramwell tred to paint a different story. She contended that Morin went to Wassill's house to teach Wassill and the young woman a lesson, and that he put on the blue latex gloves so that he wouldn't leave any fingerprints.

Despite Morin's repeated denials, Bramwell pointed out that it wasn't possible to merely push someone in the chest and end up in the foyer without intending to gain entry in the first place; and that by stepping up from the landing to the threshold as he pushed Wassill, was evidence of that very fact.

Bramwell also disputed Morin's testimony that the door had closed behind him, thus "trapping" him inside the house. She pointed to forensic evidence presented earlier in the trial, which showed blood spatter on the door frame and the outside of the door, as proof that the door must have been open during the scuffle and up to the point Morin slashed Wassill's throat.

Finally, Bramwell demonstrated the difficulty of placing one's hand inside the front pocket of a hoody, grabbing a knife and pulling out, if your arms are pinned against your sides while in the grip of a bear hug.

Closing arguments in the case will be made next week before the jury goes into deliberation, but the Crown's case has already been made clear. Morin went to Wassill's house intending to kill the young woman and anyone else who got in his way.

Rather than being afraid, the Crown contends that Morin was angry the young woman had moved out, thus ending their "business arrangement" under which she gave him half of her earnings as an exotic dancer and part-time drug dealer. "You lost your meal ticket," Bramwell suggested to Morin who had no other source of income at the time.

On the final day of cross examination, Morin countered the Crown's case by once again denying that he intended to harm the young woman who moved out on him.

"I just wanted to get my money and get out of there," he said.

Closing arguments and instructions to the jury are expected to be made on May 9.

(This story was made possible thanks to their generous support of our local business partners.)

 

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