Tavares gets testy on stand | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Tavares gets testy on stand

November 27, 2012 - 5:29 PM

During a cross-examination that at times turned heated, defence counsel Neville McDougall relentlessly tested Buddy Tavares' memory, which Tavares claimed was limited by both a serious motorcycle accident and McDougall's own client, RCMP Cst. Geoff Mantler.

On the trial's second day in B.C Provincial Court, Tavares took issue with McDougall's suggestions that he was less than honest in some of his testimony the previous day. Tavares reminded McDougall that he'd suffered a brain injury in a motorcycle accident in August 2010 and was recovering well until Mantler kicked him in the face during an arrest Jan. 7, 2011. Then, Tavares said, was the time factor.
"I'm not in the habit of lying, especially in a court of law," Tavares said. "You're asking me to remember things from two years ago."
Still, McDougall never let up. He asked Tavares about such topics as what he'd had for breakfast that January morning, where he ate it, whether he stopped somewhere between the time he'd finished breakfast and when he'd gone to the Harvest Golf Club, what kind of registered letter he'd picked up before going to the golf club and what he'd remembered about post-incident interviews.
Much of the time, Tavares repeated that he didn't remember, either because of the after-effects of the motorcycle accident or his encounter with Mantler. 
McDougall asked whether Tavares had walked or driven the morning of Jan. 7 from the Harvest Golf Club's maintenance shop to the course to scare geese off the course at Harvest. Tavares was visibly agitated.
"I don't remember whether I walked or drove," he said. "I suffered a brain injury at the feet of Geoff Mantler. I was rattled. I had a second brain injury as diagnosed by my doctor, compliments of Mr. Mantler. Sorry if I can't remember."
McDougall touched on Tavares' mood after he'd received a letter by his ex-wife requesting child support. Although Tavares said the letter bothered him because he hadn't worked since the motorcycle accident Aug. 8, 2010, he would admit only being angry at his lawyer.
"It should have been cleared up," he said.
McDougall suggested that Tavares went to the golf course with his shotgun not to scare away geese, as Tavares had claimed, but to send his ex-wife a message about what he'd thought about her asking for money. Tavares denied it.
Tavares also denied conversations McDougall suggested he'd had with those he'd visited at the maintenance shop, including one with the mechanic. McDougall suggested Tavares, in response to the mechanic saying that his ex-wife had left the course, said, "That's good for her." Tavares denied it.
The line of questioning turned to the time of the January arrest. Again, McDougall worked through finite detail by finite detail, which often irked Tavares. He peppered Tavares with so many details that Tavares wondered aloud who the defendant really was.
When McDougall suggested to Tavares that, when Tavares was exiting his truck during the arrest, he said, "Bitch should have killed me," referring to his ex-wife. Tavares denied it.
"I remember being told to get on the ground, with a gun pointed at me," he said. "That's what I remember."
The trial continues Wednesday.
John Sleeper


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