By Cam Fortems, Kamloops This Week
Tyler Myers was killed in the schoolyard of Bastion elementary in Salmon Arm on Nov. 21, 2008. He was shot three times — twice in the back and once in the back of the head.
The man standing trial was 16 at the time of Myers’ death and is now 24. He cannot be named under the Youth Criminal Justice Act.
His ex-girlfriend, also charged with first-degree murder, was 17 at the time and is now 25.
She also cannot be named and is slated to stand trial in November.
The day for three Grade 12 students began with a home-economics class in their first block of the morning, the only class the two boys and one girl shared at Salmon Arm secondary.
The three, all friends, decided to skip school for the rest of the day and walk to one of their parents’ homes.
Chatting in the basement, while the girlfriend of one of the buddies went outside for a smoke, one boy complained to the other that she was fooling around on him with an acquaintance. That acquaintance was Tyler Myers, five years older than the two, someone they had both worked with in construction.
“He wanted him [Myers] to be out of her life,” the friend of the accused male testified in a first-degree murder trial in B.C. Supreme Court Friday.
The accused male also recounted recently seeing his girlfriend in bed with Meyers.
The name of the 25-year-old man who testified in the murder trial is protected by a court-ordered publication ban, as is the identity of the accused male murderer and the accused female.
A PLAN WAS HATCHED
The three left the house and headed to a local restaurant for lunch. They later smoked a marijuana cigarette behind Bastion elementary school, where a plan was hatched to solve the problem.
The man who testified told the court he agreed to let his buddy, the accused male, borrow his dad’s .22 Savage rifle. The accused female was to lure Myers to the schoolyard that evening and make an excuse to go into the bushes to urinate. The accused male would then have a clear shot.
“They were going to have a chance to take Tyler’s life,” the witness recounted in plain, unemotional terms to the 12-person jury.
Later that day, on Nov. 21, 2008, the witness testified the accused male “texted me and asked to borrow a gun.
“I said yes.”
“THEY SAID IT WAS DONE”
That evening, the witness said the accused male and the accused female came to the home, where he lived with his parents. He met the pair outside after spotting a car in the driveway.
“By that time, he [accused male] put the gun back in the RV and handed me a bag of pot . . . They said it was done . . . It was something along the lines that Tyler was dead,” the witness said.
Myers would be found dead with three gunshot wounds, including one to the back of his head.
The witness pleaded guilty in 2014 to being an accessory to murder after the fact. He received a two-year conditional sentence with no jail time. But Crown prosecutor Bill Hilderman noted to the jury that the facts to which the witness pleaded guilty did not include knowing a plan was hatched to kill Myers with the rifle he agreed to loan.
The witness testified after the murder the three came up with a story they agreed to tell police. All were interviewed by RCMP and said they didn’t know what happened to Myers.
Afterward, “there was not a whole lot said about it,” the Crown witness testified.
“After a couple of weeks, we thought it was over and done with.”
The witness moved to Kamloops in the ensuing years, but the two boys, now young men, remained friends.
RCMP were suspicious of the accused male and his girlfriend, the accused female, however, and later obtained a search warrant for text messages. Four years after the murder, police used a Mr. Big undercover operation to extract a confession from the two accused.
The trial, which began this week, is scheduled to last a month and will continue Monday.