KAMLOOPS — The last thing Gil Anderson saw before he walked his daughter to school on the morning of June 2, 2014 were two silhouettes fist-fighting in his neighbour's yard before one knocked the other over and delivered three blows to its opponent’s head with a shovel.
“After I heard the first strike of the shovel, I wasn’t sure what had just happened but then I heard kind of a muffled garbly voice that said ‘you son of a bitch,’” Anderson said today, Aug. 11 in Kamloops Supreme Court.
Shane Gyoba, 28, is on trial for second-degree murder in the death of his uncle, Ed Gyoba, 66, whom he lived with on Cedar Crescent in Ashcroft.
Anderson said he investigated the shadows across the street from him when he heard two men engaged in a loud argument while he smoked a cigarette outside his home. After he snuck closer to the house to see the fight, he said he didn't see Ed or Shane but figured it was the two fighting based on the location, sounds of voices and the shadows matching the physical description of each man.
The witness said he was in disbelief, was nervous and scared after hearing the event.
"I thought I just witnessed somebody being murdered,” he said. "After locking the door and closing the blinds i stood there for a minute and shook and tried to process what I’d just seen."
But before he could process the event, Anderson said he heard his daughter ask him to walk her to school.
To protect his daughter from potentially seeing a grisly murder scene, Anderson said he spoke to her loudly and clearly and made sure she watched him as they carried onwards toward the school. He said while walking past the Gyoba household he heard metal hitting earth and deduced someone was digging in the yard.
He heard the same sound on his return walk home, he said. Once there, he lifted the blinds and watched the yard where he said he saw Shane smoking a cigarette before heading into a shed on the property.
"I already knew who it was at that point because I had seen the silhouette. It was Shane Gyoba,” Anderson said.
No longer confused about what happened earlier, Anderson phoned the police who came to the scene and escorted Gyoba into a cruiser.
This is the second day in Gyoba’s murder trial which is expected to last two to three weeks. Yesterday, Crown prosecutor Neil Flanagan asked one of the forensic investigators who attended the scene about blood spatter on the suspect’s shoes, on the handle of a shovel and a white box in the backyard. The investigator described a shallow grave located next to the body, which was wrapped in black garbage bags.
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