Tim Petruk, Kamloops This Week
The ex-girlfriend of a Salmon Arm man standing trial for first-degree murder in relation to a high school love triangle turned deadly was painted in court Tuesday as “the mastermind” behind the 2008 murder plot.
Tyler Myers, 22, was shot to death in a Salmon Arm schoolyard on Nov. 21, 2008.
The 24-year-old man standing trial for his death cannot be named under the Youth Criminal Justice Act because he was 16 when Myers was killed. The accused’s ex-girlfriend, now a 25-year-old woman, is also charged with first-degree murder and will stand trial later this year. She cannot be named because she was 17 when Myers died.
The accused were charged four years after the slaying, at the end of a months-long RCMP Mr. Big undercover operation that culminated in confessions from both suspects.
In B.C. Supreme Court in Kamloops on Tuesday, jurors watched more than two hours of a video recording taken the day after the male accused’s arrest in November 2012.
In the recording, RCMP Sgt. Rob Burrett convinces the male accused to come clean and explain how the murder plot unfolded.
During the interview, which took place inside a nondescript room at the Salmon Arm RCMP detachment, Burrett called the female accused “a cold-hearted bitch” who was trying to pin the murder on the male accused.
“She has issues,” the male accused replied.
“One-hundred per cent she has issues,” Burrett shot back. “But, if she had issues back in the day that caused you to do this, then we have to deal with it.”
The male accused started crying in the video, telling Burrett he hasn’t slept through the night since Myers was killed.
“Did he deserve to die?” Burrett asked.
“No one deserves to die,” the male accused replied.
“Why did something like this happen, then?” Burrett asked.
“Because of her,” said the male accused. “I was her bitch in every sense of the word.”
The male accused went on to tell Burrett that the female accused, who was dating both him and Myers at the time, told him Myers planned to attack the male accused’s family.
“She told me he was going to come to my house and beat the shit out of my whole family,” he said.
“Those were her exact words. I was scared.”
The male accused told Burrett he wanted to go to police, but the female accused told him she’d tried and been told there was nothing they could do.
“I just listened to her,” he said.
The friction stemmed from an altercation between Myers and the male accused at the female accused’s house 11 days before the murder, according to the video.
The male accused told Burrett he walked in on the female accused and Myers together in bed, then asked for a word with Myers.
He said Myers pushed him and he ran away.
Then, he said, the female accused starting to talk about removing Myers from the picture.
“She just said she wants to get rid of him,” the male accused told Burrett.
“I was just so stupidly, irrationally, illogically in love with her. I was 16 years old.
“I was scared, I was confused. I just felt like she was this absolute angel.”
On the day of the murder, the male accused said, he cut class with the female accused and a friend. Jurors heard that’s when the plan was hatched.
That evening, the male accused hid out with a borrowed rifle in a stand of trees on the schoolyard of Bastion elementary. The female accused, he said, lured Myers to the area to be shot.
“She called me and said, ‘Are you ready? We’re coming down,’” the male accused told Burrett, describing the female accused as “the mastermind.”
“I said, ‘Yup.’ I was shaking.”
The male accused, who told Burrett he had never shot a gun before killing Myers, said he shot his romantic rival once from his hideout in the trees before emerging and firing two more shots — both, he said, at the request of the female accused.
“I just shot,” he said. “I don’t know where it hit him. He was just standing there looking around.
“He was just on the ground and she said, ‘Shoot him in the head.’
“She looked at me and said, ‘You did good, babe,’ and gave me a kiss.”
Myers was struck with three bullets — two in his back and one in the back of his head.
The male accused went on to apologize on tape to the community of Salmon Arm and his parents, as well as Myers’ family. He also had a message for the female accused when asked by Burrett.
“F—k you,” he said.
“You don’t even deserve an answer. You’re not worth my time. I hope you get what you deserve.”
The Crown is expected to close its case later this week. It’s not yet known if defence lawyer Donna Turko will call any evidence.