A former employee and friend of Dustin Paxton testified in a Calgary court Wednesday that Paxton admitted beating the man he is accused of torturing.
By the last time he saw Paxton’s former roommate and business partner, he looked like a "zombie," David Batista testified.
Paxton is charged with physical and sexual assault and the unlawful confinement of his alleged victim, who cannot be named.
Batista told court that he worked for Two Guys and a Truck on and off for nine months. When he first met the victim in May 2009, he said, he appeared to be OK, aside from a black eye and a cut on his forehead. At that point, Batista said, the man appeared to weigh about 200 pounds.
On one occasion, Batista said, Paxton told him he was worried that he had hurt the alleged victim pretty badly, hitting him in the head twice and kneeing him twice.
Shortly after that, the victim was in hospital for up to two months. When released, Batista said, it appeared the man was getting better, but that it only lasted a week before it appeared the beatings had resumed.
Paxton was a very angry man and would berate the victim on almost every occasion, Batista testified, adding Paxton once sent the alleged assault victim to his room because he didn’t like the way he was breathing.
Batista testified that the last time he saw the alleged victim was in a Calgary hotel room in early 2010. He said the man looked like death, like "a zombie from the movies."
Batista called 911 on that occasion and court was played the recording. The operator told him there was nothing they could do, because police needed to hear from the victim himself. Batista testified he then offered to drive the man to the hospital, but Paxton declined, saying that the victim did not need to go.
The victim is scheduled to testify early next week. The testimony is expected to be highly emotional, since it will be the first time he has come face-to-face with his alleged tormentor in more than a year.
The alleged victim was dropped off at a Regina hospital in April 2010 brain damaged and weighing only 87 pounds — down from 210 pounds — had several broken bones; his lips and tongue had been mutilated.
Batista is the latest former employee of the pair to testify in the case. The Crown plans to call 50 witnesses during the trial, presided over by Justice Sheilah Martin, which is set to last five weeks.