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In cross-examination, Mr. Moore was asked to describe the circumstances of his last offence, when he was convicted of damaging property through criminal negligence and received a 5-year sentence. He told the jury he had previously been charged with first-degree murder arising from a killing at Kent Institution. He had been kept in segregation for two years until the charge was stayed by the Crown, and then released straight to the street from segregation. He described the experience this way:

You are at the end of the earth. Your life is worth nothing. They feed you through a slot. After keeping me locked up for two years I'm released straight to the street. They yelled at me on the street and I shot sixteen bullets into the parole office.

When Mr. Moore was asked the standard question, "Isn't it true that you and other prisoners got together and came up with this story to help MacDonald?" he fired back, "This case does not need a story to be concocted."

The next witness was Tim Staller. Whereas Mr. Whitmore and Mr. Curran had come into the courtroom radiating energy, and Mr. Tremblay and Mr. Moore were almost defiant in their outlawry, by contrast Mr. Staller crossed the courtroom almost lazily. To the extent that anyone can be so wearing leg irons, he was laid-back. That phrase aptly characterizes the manner in which he gave his evidence. Mr. Staller explained that he was a loner at Kent, that he belonged to no group and preferred to do his time by himself, unto himself. He had less hassles that way. He had been at Kent since 1988 on a charge of second-degree murder although his record predated that, and, like so many prisoners, he had spent most of his adult life locked up. In describing Mr. Allen he said, "I found the guy to be pretty brutal." He described an occasion when Mr. Allen and Mr. Bellegarde had run out of home brew and "were running around the units grabbing guys' deodorant" for its alcohol content -- the incident previously described by Shawn Preddy. Mr. Staller corroborated Mr. Preddy's evidence that when one prisoner objected, he was given a bad beating by Mr. Allen.

Because he had done time with Gary Allen previously, when Mr. Staller found himself in segregation with Allen in February 1994 he struck up a conversation. Mr. Allen asked if Mr. Staller knew where Hughie MacDonald was. Mr. Staller said that he did not know Mr. MacDonald. Mr. Allen's response was to slam his fist into the wall and say, "I'm doing him." Mr. Staller testified that he understood this to mean Mr. Allen was going to kill the man. That conversation was the last time Mr. Staller saw or spoke to Gary Allen.

If Tim Staller's laid-back walk into the courtroom reflected the way he did time at Kent, Gary Weaver's assertive, heads-up approach to the witness box exhibited his attitude to imprisonment. Only twenty-seven years old, Gary Weaver had spent all but eleven months locked up since the age of fourteen. He had received a life sentence for second-degree murder in 1989 and had done every day of the past seven years in either maximum security or the Special Handling Unit. He was asked what effect doing time in maximum and super maximum security had on a prisoner.

You become accustomed to a violent and volatile atmosphere. The Special Handling Unit is a much more intense place where you have to fortify yourself. You have to train yourself to be mentally strong in order to survive. When you go out into a common room with other prisoners if you make a mistake you could be dead. You don't have the choice of being wrong. If you are, you fall. After doing time in the Special Handling Unit it becomes a part of you. You have a more rigid attitude to life and to doing time. You do not lose traits like this and throw them out the window, even when you leave.

Mr. Weaver testified that he had never met Gary Allen before February 1994. On February 17 of that year Mr. Weaver was placed in segregation, based upon allegations that he was involved in the importation of drugs into Kent. He had heard of Mr. Allen and he assumed that Mr. Allen had heard of him. Mr. Weaver testified that he had heard stories about Mr. Allen as "a rock and roll guy. A stand-up guy."

On February 18 Mr. Weaver was moved into Mr. Allen's cell and spent the next five days double-bunked with him. He learned that Mr. Allen had been using heroin and had only a little left. Mr. Allen demanded medication from the nursing staff, as he was going through withdrawal, and they gave him some Ativan. Usually a prisoner just is given just one or two pills, but on this occasion Mr. Allen was given almost a whole card of Ativan, about twenty-one pills, which was very unusual. Weaver testified, "We split them up and ate them. It was a party." During the time they spent together the two men shared war stories.

Weaver was asked whether Allen talked during these five days about his problems with MacDonald. He testified that Allen had told him he had a beef with MacDonald. Weaver testified Allen had told him, " 'I'm going to take that old cocksucker's head off.' He was pretty agitated and kept on about it." Asked if there was any discussion of weapons, Mr. Weaver responded, "Sure, I asked him if he was going to beef, whether he was ready. He told me that he had something worked out for him." Weaver testified that on the morning of February 22, Allen had gone to see the Segregation Review Board and been told that he was being released that morning. He came back to his cell and began preparing himself for a fight by doing sets of push-ups. Allen disparagingly referred to his antagonist, MacDonald, as "a sawed-off little fuck." That dismissive view of MacDonald was to haunt Allen to his grave.

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Gary Weaver