NEWS

Regretted not talking to Bay Bulls suspect, witness says

04/26/2012 10:24 EDT | Updated 06/26/2012 05:12 EDT

A lifelong friend of the man at the centre of a weeklong standoff with RCMP south of St. John's has told a jury he wished he had done more to help Leo Crockwell.

Lloyd Maloney, who has known Crockwell for years in Bay Bulls, was at the scene shortly before the standoff started in December 2010, although he did not witness the alleged assault on Crockwell's sister.

Maloney told Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador — where Crockwell is being tried for eight charges, many of them related to weapons — that he did see a cut on Catherine Crockwell's lip.

Maloney testified Wednesday that Leo Crockwell came out of the family home and told him, "Don't believe what they tell you. It's all lies."

Maloney said Crockwell went back in the house, and then came out with a rifle.

Maloney told the jury that he said to Crockwell, "There's no need for a gun ... Go back in the house. And he did."

Maloney said he thought about the incident later, and determined that he should have gone into the house to talk to Leo Crockwell.

Instead, he convinced Catherine Crockwell and her mother to call the police.

Thought dispute would end quickly

Maloney testified that he thought it would all be over in half an hour.

Instead, the RCMP cordon remained in effect for a week. It ended after Crockwell escaped from the house while officers were flooding the home.

Meanwhile, one of the guards stationed at the St. John's lockup when Crockwell was taken into custody testified about a conversation he had had with the accused.

John Carew said the Crockwell told him that he shot at a robot that the RCMP had tried to use to communicate with Crockwell.

Carew said that Crockwell told him that he had only wanted to cut the wires on the robot, and did not want to hurt anyone.

Asked by Crown prosecutor Elizabeth Ivany how the conversation started, Carew said that he was curious and had initiated the discussion.

The court also heard Wednesday from Leonard O'Driscoll, a neighbour in Bay Bulls.

RCMP had asked him about two shotguns found on his property after the standoff ended.

O'Driscoll testified that he had never seen them before and did not know how they got there.

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