KAMLOOPS — Shane Takeshi Gyoba was ‘broken’ in the years leading up to his uncle’s death with behaviour extreme enough to divide a household, cause fear in the community and involve police, according to his aunt Barb Gyoba who took the stand in Kamloops Supreme Court today, Aug. 12.
Shane, 28, is charged with second-degree murder in the death of his uncle Ed Gyoba, 66—Barb's husband. On June 2, 2014, Ed’s body was found near a makeshift grave in the backyard of his Cedar Crescent home in Ashcroft.
On the day of Ed’s death, Barb says she was approached by Sgt. Michel Grondin of the Ashcroft RCMP who told her 'we talked about this last year, didn’t we? Here we are.'
When Barb and Ed spoke to police about Shane’s behaviour, which they became increasingly concerned about, she said the pair were looking for options since it was beginning to take a toll on their personal lives. When Shane went to jail in 2013, the couple decided to live in separate residences across the street from one another. She said living with Shane became 'too stressful,' noting he mostly ‘babbled’ and talked of conspiracy theories.
"I asked what we could do, what could be done. What has to happen before Shane could be taken into care,” she said, adding her nephew was never on medication. “He was not right. He’s broken. He’s never been diagnosed. If he went anywhere to talk to a professional, we weren’t allowed to find out."
Barb says Shane’s behaviour ranged from aggressive to bizarre and was much different than when he turned up on his uncle’s doorstep at 13 years old.
“He just became more of himself. More aggressive. More dominant. He would be in your own space. He would just move into you,” she said. “People are still telling me horror stories (of) things that he did downtown, things that he said to people. (At school) secretaries would see him coming and close their safety window."
It was shortly before his death when Shane’s persona became too much for Ed to handle.
“He was very frustrated with him. He’d gone over to fix the sprinklers and there was a confrontation. Shane was very verbal and confrontational and he was so frustrated, he came (to my home) and said ‘that’s it,’” she said. Ed told his nephew it was time for him to find somewhere else to live.
"Shane said 'it’s my house, why would I move out?’" Barb said. "Eddy owned the house and he still owns the house."
Barb said she knew the line was crossed after Ed told her he was prepared to fight Shane and was ‘ready to hang a lickin' on him.'
“He was very upset. My husband was not a violent person,” she said.
During the course of Barb’s testimony, Shane became agitated and frequently interrupted the witness to ask a series of questions under the supervision of five sheriffs. Barb would make attempts to continue with her testimony, often behind one hand held up towards the accused. At one point, the accused asked his own lawyer, Don Campbell, if he was going to rape him or his aunt.
Campbell told the accused to remain quiet so he could ‘do his job.'
Justice Dev Dley halted the proceedings to address Shane’s outbursts.
"I’ve asked you once to remain quiet. Are you prepared to do that? Can you remain quiet?” Dley said. "You will have an opportunity to talk to your lawyer. You are not entitled to interrupt the witness."
“This is bullshit. You don’t think it’s bullshit?” Shane asked.
"I’m going to ignore that comment. If you continue to interrupt, I’ll have you removed,” Dley said.
Sgt. Grondin was one of the first officers on scene the day of Ed’s death and was the arresting officer who read Shane his rights after discovering the body in the backyard of the Gyoba home. He said he remembered Shane after dealing with him ‘more than a dozen times’ and from speaking with Barb about her concerns a year before the incident.
“She was concerned about his behaviour but couldn’t describe it specifically,” he said. “It was more a concern rather than a complaint.”
Grondin said when he attended the house he saw Shane emerge from the backyard and attempt to start Ed’s car. When the ignition failed, Grondin said Shane bolted between Ed’s car and Grodin’s police car and took off up the street.
"I yelled 'Shane I know who you are. You can run wherever you want, I’ll find you later,’” Grondin said. “He stopped running and turned looking at me and asked me 'what do you want me to do?’ I said 'we’re here to find out what happened, why don’t you come down and tell us what’s going on?'"
Grondin said it became apparent that Ed was either gravely injured or dead after Shane indicated the officers wouldn’t need an ambulance. A fellow officer called the sergeant to come look at the scene in the backyard and Shane blurted out: ‘if someone cut his dick off, it wasn’t me,’” Grondin said.
“(There was a) human body wrapped in green garbage bags. There was a trench that had been freshly dug up," he said. "The body in the garbage bag was partially in the trench with the torso and the head hanging at the top of (it)."
When he told Shane he was under arrest for the murder of Ed Gyoba, Grondin said Shane corrected him and said 'you must mean homicide or manslaughter.'
Grondin said Shane displayed no emotion, had a calm demeanour and cooperated with instructions upon his arrival to the RCMP detachment.
“He was basically calm. He had returned a little bit more to his usual confrontational or staring behaviour. I wasn’t surprised by his response,” Grondin said.
This is the third day of Shane’s trial which is expected to last two to three weeks.
For more stories on the trial, click here.
-This story was updated at 5:37 p.m., August 12, to include testimony from Sgt. Michel Grondin with the Ashcroft RCMP.
To contact a reporter for this story, email Glynn Brothen at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 250-319-7494. To contact the editor, email email@example.com or call 250-718-2724.