Tim Petruk/Kamloops This Week
A man alleged to have hidden in a wooded area and kill a romantic rival at a staged meeting while a high school student in 2008 likely fired an additional fatal shot directly to the back of the victim’s head while standing over his body, a jury has been told.
The 24-year-old man is standing trial in B.C. Supreme Court in Kamloops on one count of first-degree murder in relation to the Nov. 21, 2008, death of Tyler Myers, 22, in a Salmon Arm schoolyard. Also charged is a 25-year-old woman whose trial date has not yet been set.
Because both were under the age of 18 at the time of the alleged incident, neither can be named under the Youth Criminal Justice Act.
A 12-person jury has heard the accused and Myers both believed they were involved in relationships with the female in late 2008.
Crown prosecutor Bill Hilderman said the accused and the female hatched a plan to kill Myers by luring him to a schoolyard for an evening meeting, where the accused was hiding in a wooded area with a rifle. Hilderman said the female took Myers to a pre-arranged location outside the school, where the accused had a clear shot from his hidden location.
Jurors were told the accused shot Myers once in the back from within the treed area, then emerged and shot him twice more on the orders of the female — once in the back and once in the head.
Taking the witness stand on Tuesday, an RCMP investigator who was on scene outside the school in the hours after the slaying said it would have been impossible for Myers to see the spot from which the accused is alleged to have fired the first shot.
RCMP Cpl. Eric Page said it was too dark for Myers to have seen the shooter in the trees.
Dr. James Stephen, who conducted an autopsy on Myers following his death, said two of the three shots would have been fatal on their own. He said Myers suffered “massive blood loss” when one of the bullets fired into his back punctured his heart.
“If this had occurred on the front steps of a major cardio-thoracic institute, he may have survived,” Stephen said. “Death would have occurred within minutes of sustaining that injury. The effect would have been catastrophic blood loss resulting in death.”
The other fatal shot, Stephen said, was the one to Myers’ head.
“The gun was directly behind the head,” he said. “The bullet went from back to front.”
Stephen said the trajectory of the bullet fired into the back of Myers’ head was consistent with someone standing above him, shooting down as he lay on the ground.
According to Stephen, Myers was alive when each of the three shots were fired.
Court has previously heard the accused and the female borrowed a gun from a friend to kill Myers.
The trial, which began on Monday, is slated to last about a month.