Defence pokes holes in alleged victim’s testimony

A witness in the trial of three Oliver residents who allegedly kidnapped and beat Frank Guenther said she could not see who actually did harm to the man when they reached Pyramid Park in Summerland.

A witness in the trial of three Oliver residents who allegedly kidnapped and beat Frank Guenther said she could not see who actually did harm to the man when they reached Pyramid Park in Summerland.

Megan Gaddy, who was the girlfriend of Andrew Miller, one of the three on trial, told the court on Tuesday she watched as the co-accused Nicolette Miller and Leonard Thompson had a conversation with two men in another vehicle that pulled up at Pyramid Park before she heard the words “get him.”

“I heard him (Guenther) screaming to stop. Nicki yelled out to Andrew to kick him, but I never saw. I am not sure who kicked,” said Gaddy.

Thompson, his wife Nicolette Miller and her son Andrew Miller are facing charges of kidnapping, unlawful confinement or imprisonment and assault causing bodily harm for an alleged incident that occurred on Feb. 28, 2009. The trial by jury started last Thursday beginning with testimony from the alleged victim. Guenther told the court he thought the three accused were upset over an above-ground pool that had been sold to them for $100 by drug dealers who borrowed his truck — where the pool was being stored. Guenther said he was given the pool back but Thompson and Nicolette Miller were upset about the $100 they were out.

“There is more to it, but the pool was definitely,” said Guenther who stopped mid-sentence. “For $100 I caused a lot of problems.”

Guenther, who admitted to being a drug dealer to feed his crack addiction that sometimes had him smoking 14 grams a day, told the court he was going to meet someone to sell drugs to when he was ambushed by the trio. He claims he was forced in their vehicle and taken to the Thompson Ranch at Vaseux Lake. Gaddy said while they were still in Oliver, en route to the ranch, an acquaintance of Thompson and Miller flashed lights from behind them indicating to pull over. She said the person got out of their vehicle and came over to say hi, and at no time did Guenther speak or ask for help.

At the ranch they switched vehicles and carried onto Pyramid Park. During the drive Guenther said he was told by the trio that they were hired to take him to someone else because of a drug debt he had not cleared up. He also claimed he was punched several times. After arriving at Pyramid Park, Guenther said another vehicle arrived and he was pulled out of the truck and blacked out shortly after, either hitting his head on the vehicle that just arrived or as he was getting beaten up.

On cross-examination on Friday, Guenther said he lied during the preliminary hearing about being a drug dealer for eight years. During trial Guenther said he had been a dealer for three years.

On Monday, the defence continued to try and slash away at Guenther’s credibility, asking Sgt. Stefan Lacroix about what he told Thompson in an interview he assisted on during RCMP questioning shortly after the incident occurred. Counsel read from the transcribed interview a quote from Lacroix, in which the RCMP member said, “No doubt in my mind Frank is lying to us.” Lacroix said from the witness box that he agreed with that statement, and some of the facts Guenther gave seemed incorrect. The trial is expected to continue until April 19.

 

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