Joshua Petrin’s defence lawyer opted not to call any witnesses in his client’s first-degree murder trial.
Rather, Brian Pfefferle said he’ll focus on punching holes in the Crown’s case when court hears closing arguments on Oct. 12.
“We feel comfortable with the evidence before the court and we’ll be asking the court to draw certain conclusions from the evidence that was presented by the Crown,” he said outside Saskatoon Court of Queen’s Bench.
Petrin is alleged to have been a high-ranking member of the White Boy Posse, an Alberta-based street gang.
The Crown claims he ordered Randy O’Hagan and another man to murder T.J. Cromartie for leaving the gang.
The Crown said that order led to the death of Lorry Santos, a 34-year-old mother of four, when O’Hagan and the other gunman shot blindly into her home, believing it to be Cromartie’s address.
“It’s shocking, I think, to realize how random this crime was and how people who are minding their own business, getting ready for work have this happen to them. It’s unthinkable to think that could have happened to anybody,” Crown prosecutor Matthew Miazga said.
Although O’Hagan and the other gunman have both been convicted in Santos’ death, the judge in Petrin’s trial is still required to determine whether the two committed a crime, as part of deciding if Petrin was part of a conspiracy.
As such, many of the Crown’s witnesses were police officers involved in the investigation or people who lived near the Santos home on the day of the shooting. Pfefferle said in court the defence isn’t going to argue that either man wasn’t guilty of the shooting.
That leaves evidence from about a half dozen witnesses linked to Petrin, including ex-girlfriend Karissa Dow and Serena Loeden, a former drug customer of O’Hagan’s.
Court also heard from Colton Menard, who testified he sold cocaine for Petrin and ran the White Boy Posse’s drug operation in Lloydminster after Cromartie fled.
Finally, two men whose names can’t be published due to court orders also testified.
Those two witnesses testified Petrin was their boss in the drug business, and claimed intimate knowledge of various details about the shooting itself, as well as events before and after Santos was killed.
Miazga said the Crown decided not to call O’Hagan to testify because they didn’t believe he’d cooperate, and wasn’t likely to tell the truth on the stand.
Pfefferle said he didn’t choose to call O’Hagan because he didn’t think his testimony would be of use in his case.
Petrin will be back in a Saskatoon courtroom before closing arguments in his murder trial.
He has an appearance scheduled Oct. 6 in Saskatoon Provincial Court for a charge stemming from an alleged escape attempt at the Saskatoon Correctional Centre.