KAMLOOPS - A Kamloops jury has heard that a volatile love triangle led to the death of a 22-year-old man at the hands of two high school students.
A 24-year-old Salmon Arm man is on trial in B.C. Supreme Court, charged with first-degree murder in the death of Tyler Myers in November 2008.
A 25-year-old woman is also charged, but a date for her trial has not yet been set, and because both were under the age at the time of the alleged crime, neither can be publicly named.
The accused man pleaded guilty to second-degree murder Monday, but Crown prosecutor Bill Hilderman refused the plea.
The lawyer told the 12-person jury that both Myers and the man believed they were in a relationship with the woman who is charged, and both were aware of the other's involvement with her.
"Understandably, this caused friction between the two men," Hilderman said in his opening statement.
The pair charged with Myers' death hatched a plan to borrow a gun from a friend and lure him to an empty Salmon Arm schoolyard near a forested area, Hilderman said.
Jurors were told the accused was hiding in the woods and shot Myers multiple times when the woman left momentarily under the guise of going to the washroom.
The man was interviewed by police two days later and denied any involvement in the death, Hilderman said, and the investigation slowed.
He said police launched an undercover operation in June 2012, targeting the woman who is also charged.
Undercover Mounties posing as gangsters convinced her they could help her clear up any suspicion if she told them everything she knew about the murder, jurors were told.
"They told her they had a guy who was dying of cancer and he would take the fall for it," Hilderman said. "But they also needed to hear [the accused man's] side of the event."
He said the man later told police he felt "stupid" for having been manipulated by the woman.
The victim's mother also testified Monday, saying she dropped her son off at the school on the night of his death.
Barbara Myers told the court her son was meeting the young woman to talk about the love triangle they were entangled in, and he seemed "distressed" before she dropped him off.
"I told him to bring [the young woman] back for supper," Barbara Myers said.
"He said he would probably do that."
The next day, she said, two detectives showed up at her door to say her son was dead.
The trial is expected to last for about a month.