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Court hears Gyoba's history of erratic behaviour including cutting off his finger

Outside Ed Gyoba's home on June 2, 2014.
June 23, 2016 - 3:39 PM

KAMLOOPS - Julie Gyoba took the stand in Kamloops Supreme Court today to detail past behavioural and mental problems experienced by her son, Shane Takeshi Gyoba.

Shane has been found guilty of second degree murder in the death of his uncle Ed Gyoba but Crown prosecutor Neil Flanagan has filed an application to ask Judge Dev Dley to find him not criminally responsible by reason of mental disorder.

This afternoon, June 23, Julie told the court in detail about her phone conversations with her son in the weeks leading up to the murder of his uncle.

"The phone conversations were pretty terrible and awful," Julie said. "(Shane) said he could have easily had me killed or taken out. There were no kinds of normal conversations, it was mostly monologues and tangents."

Julie said Shane would talk about violence, sex and guns to her. 

"He would call me awful names on the phone," Julie told the court. "It would be very hard to reason with him."

Julie didn't see her son from June 2013 until after his uncle's death in June 2014. Her other son received a text message from a friend on June 3, 2014, one day after Ed's murder, asking what was going on with Shane.

Julie searched his name on Google, and that's how she learned of the entire situation.

Julie testified that Shane's mental problems date back to 1999, when his father Eugene died of leukemia. Julie's testimony was interrupted several times by outbursts from her son in the prisoner's dock.

Julie said Shane started getting into drugs and hanging out with different friends after his dad died. 

"Shane was very close to his father," Julie said.

He was kicked off his karate team, and moved from rep hockey to recreational.

The family was living in Saskatoon, Sask. at the time. Julie said Shane's behaviour took a sharp turn, becoming more confrontational and starting fights. His mother started putting locks on the bedroom doors, taking money and valuables with her when she left, and locking them in her vehicle and hiding the key when she came home.

A social worker in Saskatoon got Shane into a behavioural program, which he was eventually kicked out of.

Shane moved to Ashcroft to live with his Aunt Barb and Uncle Ed in 2001, where he completed high school. He then moved to Kamloops to attend Thompson Rivers University.

Julie told the court it took Shane eight years to obtain a four-year degree. He eventually graduated in 2012.

That summer, Julie said Shane showed up to her Saskatoon home uninvited and stayed for the month of July. At the end of the month, Julie was supposed to go out with a few of her girlfriends. Before she left, Shane asked where her sharpest knife was. When she asked why he wanted to know, he said he wanted to cut off his finger. He told her his paternal grandfather had done the same thing when he wanted to turn over a new leaf in his life.

Julie didn't tell her son where she kept her sharpest knife. When she came home, she saw his hand bandaged up. He had cut off his pinky finger on his left hand on their workbench.

There was blood on the table, and Shane had taken a black marker and drawn a heart around it. His younger brother took him to the emergency room.

Julie told the court she believes the story about Shane's grandfather isn't true. He died before Julie met Shane's father.

Julie told the court that since 2010, Shane has believed he is the father of his cousin's daughter. When Flanagan asked Julie about the child, Shane shouted from the prisoner's dock, saying he would kill Flanagan and his whole family if he mentioned her.

Julie told the court Shane claims his ex-girlfriend got pregnant when she was with him, and gave her child up to Shane's cousin.

Julie said the claim is completely untrue.

"(His cousin) has gone through two completely normal pregnancies with her children," Julie said.

For more of our coverage on this trial, go here.

— This story was updated at 3:13 P.M. June 23, 2016 ,with new information from Kamloops Supreme Court.


To contact a reporter for this story, email Ashley Legassic or call 250-319-7494 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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