Crime scene photos shown to jurors in murder trial
Published Thursday, September 13, 2012 7:08PM ADT
Disturbing photographs of the crime scene were shown to jurors today in the trial of a man charged with killing a Dartmouth cab driver.
Sgt. Darrell Longley of the Halifax Regional Police spent the majority of the day on the stand.
Longley was the crime scene coordinator for both the area where Sergei Kostin’s burned-out cab was found in January 2009, as well as where his body was found almost three months later.
Several graphic pictures were taken at those scenes and shared with the jury.
“All homicide prosecutions and trials do involve troublesome evidence and we wanted to make sure the jury had some preparation, as we all like to be prepared before we see grizzly scenes,” says Crown prosecutor Eric Taylor.
Kostin, a 40-year-old native of Ukraine, was killed in January 2009 after picking up a fare at a convenience store in Dartmouth.
His cab was found burned out in North Preston a few days after he disappeared, although his body wasn’t recovered until April, about a kilometre away from the car.
Chaze Lamar Thompson was charged with first-degree murder in January 2010, a year after Kostin’s death. The 22-year-old Dartmouth man pleaded not guilty to the charge Monday and the trial got underway Tuesday.
During today’s cross-examination, the defence questioned Longley about parts of the investigation, such as whether testing for an accelerant was completed during the inspection of Kostin’s car.
Longley answered ‘no.’
Defence lawyer Patrick MacEwen also questioned whether testing was done on both computers seized during the investigation and questioned protocol surrounding photo lineups.
Wayne MacEvoy, the cousin of the accused, will be called to the stand Monday.
“Yes, he is the eyewitness and a very important witness to listen to his evidence very carefully,” says Taylor.
MacEvoy will likely spend several days on the stand.
According to the Crown, MacEvoy is expected to tell the jury that he and Thompson called a cab to take them to Cherry Brook in January 2009 and that Thompson was in the backseat of the vehicle when he fired a single shot to the head, killing Kostin.
He is then expected to testify that he and Thompson drove the cab to a deserted street, left Kostin’s body and later abandoned the cab.
The Crown is expected to call about 20 witnesses to the stand. Thompson is scheduled to stand trial over the next six weeks.
With files from CTV Atlantic's Jacqueline Foster