Pubdate: Thu, 08 Feb 2007
Source: Victoria Times-Colonist (CN BC)
Copyright: 2007 Times Colonist
Author: Richard Watts, Times Colonist


Screaming Man Was Dragged From Apartment Because Drugs Were Inside, 
Witness Says

Junkie priorities prevailed when a bleeding Kenneth Robinson, 
screaming he had been stabbed, was forced from an apartment refuge 
into the lobby to await help, court heard yesterday.

Robinson's drug-dealing friend, Howard "Howie" Leeson, testified when 
he and others took in Robinson, bleeding from a wound in his back and 
hysterical, they bandaged him. But they wanted him outside their 
apartment before calling 911 because they had drugs inside.

So the 53-year-old Robinson, known as "Kenny the Barber" because he 
once cut hair, was propped against a wall in the lobby on the Wark 
Street apartment building to await the ambulance. He didn't survive 
much beyond that morning, April 15, 2005, dying only minutes past 
noon in the emergency room of the Victoria General Hospital.

Now, James Joseph Kennedy, 31, is on trial before a B.C. Supreme 
Court jury in Victoria facing a charge of second-degree murder in 
Robinson's death.

His trial began on Tuesday, but a publication ban has prevented any 
coverage until today. A Times-Colonist application to lift the ban 
was successful yesterday.

Also charged with second-degree murder, but set for trial at a later 
date, are Rebekah Laura-Lee Csori, about 25, and Shawn Edgar Tutty, about 30.

Leeson, 38, an addict to heroin and other opiates but on methadone 
for the past eight days, testified he woke up about 10:30 a.m. in a 
friend's apartment at 2523 Wark St. on April 15, 2005 to the 
persistent sound of the front-door buzzer.

When he stepped out of the apartment he saw his friend Kenny -- with 
whom he later admitted to having sold cocaine -- cowering on the 
ground while two men and a woman beat him.

Leeson identified two of the people doing the beating, Kennedy and 
his girlfriend "Becky." All three left when Leeson approached.

Leeson told the court that among the blows delivered to Robinson was 
a "club-style" punch to the back from Kennedy. And Leeson said he 
caught a glimpse of something silver and shiny in Kennedy's hand. 
Later, seeing the blood and hearing his friend, he assumed it was a knife.

"He was screaming, saying he had been stabbed and he didn't want to 
die and stuff like that," said Leeson. "He was hysterical."

Leeson also testified he had seen Robinson buy drugs from Kennedy on 
previous occasions. And he said he once saw Kennedy and others beat 
Robinson in a Fernwood apartment with tire irons and other tools over 
money owed.

Kennedy beat Robinson with a hammer until Leeson grabbed him around 
his neck, the court heard. The woman identified as "Becky" then pulled a knife.

In his opening remarks to the jury, Crown counsel Peter Juk said he 
will present evidence to show Robinson was in debt to Kennedy over drugs.

Juk told the jury they will see a collection list, seized in a police 
search from Kennedy's apartment, showing a $600 debt owed by one 
person identified as "Ken the Barber."

The court also heard yesterday from emergency physician Dr. Samuel 
Stewart, who testified he treated a patient, then identified only as 
Trauma Patient 56, on April 15, 2005, for a stab wound in his back.

The wound had gone all the way through to the chest cavity.

It wasn't long before the patient died from lack of blood going 
through his heart.
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