Witness yells at murder accused

TRACY MCLAUGHLIN, SPECIAL TO SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:02 AM ET

BARRIE -- In a moment of anger, the Crown's key witness in a murder pointed at two alleged killers in the prisoner's box yesterday and accused them of brutally killing a man for no reason.

"My evidence is that Shawn Amos smashed his head with a baseball bat and John Preston stabbed Richard Boxall with a knife and scissors," Troy MacLean yelled from the witness box.

The 31-year-old Markham victim was horribly beaten and his body rolled in a blanket and dumped in a snow bank on a rural road north of Barrie on Feb. 23, 2007.

On trial before a jury for first-degree murder are Scott Dakins, 22, Preston, 38, and Amos, 36, of Barrie.

MacLean, 30, is serving time in prison for manslaughter after admitting he kicked Boxall after Boxall had been beaten with a hammer, a baseball bat, scissors and a barbecue fork in a drug-fuelled rage.

MacLean said that on the night of the beating, another man named Pete stopped in at Amos' home and stole a bag of Ecstasy tablets. Later Boxall dropped in to buy cocaine and was blamed for the theft. He begged for his life while he was beaten, then dumped.

MacLean admitted he and the three accused were all there, "trashed" on cocaine, but that it was Amos and Preston who were the ringleaders in the beating and that he and Dakins were scared.

But defence lawyer David North insisted MacLean is lying. In court, North played a video recording of the "marathon" interrogation of MacLean after he was taken at gunpoint for the murder.

On the recording, the police interrogator shows MacLean a photo of Boxall. "I've never seen that guy in my life," answers MacLean, who was coming down from cocaine and hadn't slept in days.

"Well, that's because his face is all bashed in now," says the officer.

Hours later, MacLean changes his story and points the finger at the other men.

"You just tell lie, after lie, after lie, don't you?" asked North in court, who suggested MacLean is the real killer.

"Mr. North," said MacLean, clenching his teeth as he pointed at the accused men again. "I remember Shawn Amos smashing Richard with a baseball bat while this guy was trying to get out of the house. I remember the blood. I remember this guys' face getting kicked in.

"This guy (Boxall) was just trying to get out of the house. I remember your client, John Preston, stabbing this guy for no f---ing reason. That's what I have to live with."

After the brief outburst, the judge ordered a short recess.

The trial continues today.


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