Witness vomits, jurors go home

DEAN PRITCHARD, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:38 AM ET

WINNIPEG -- Jurors were sent home early yesterday after the star witness in the murder trial of three Winnipeg men couldn't stop vomiting while under cross-examination.

"I think the record should reflect that the witness is vomiting," said defence lawyer Jeff Nichols as Danny Simao, sitting in the witness box, threw up into a garbage can perched between his legs.

Simao is testifying in the trial of his cousin Carlos Tavares, Glen Sherman Monkman, and Norris Ponce. The men are charged with first-degree murder in the stabbing death of 24-year-old Minh Hong Huynh.

Simao told court Wednesday he suffers from irritable bowel syndrome and acid reflux and is prone to vomiting when under stress.

Nichols was questioning Simao yesterday afternoon about inconsistencies between his police statements and his testimony at a preliminary hearing when Simao put his hands to his mouth and threw up into a garbage can.

Court was adjourned twice before Crown attorney Carla Dewar told Justice Brenda Keyser that Simao was too sick to continue. Keyser sent jurors home shortly after 3 p.m.

Simao is expected to be on the witness stand for up to five days.

The Crown alleges Monkman repeatedly stabbed Huynh outside the former Club Desire on Main Street.

Earlier in the week, Simao testified he had been drinking with the three accused at the former Freehouse restaurant and bar in Osborne Village when Tavares received a call on his cellphone and they left to go to "a rave."

During the drive, Simao said he heard discussion "a guy that stabbed my cousin was going to be at the rave. (Monkman) said he was going to (stab) him."

Earlier yesterday, Simao told court they drove to a nightclub -- identified as Club Desire -- where Simao got in line at a hot dog cart. Simao said he saw Monkman and Ponce walking up the front entrance to the nightclub.

"Then I heard yelling and screaming, someone yelling 'You are gonna f---ing die.' I saw punching motions, arms flying."

Simao said he and the three accused "jumped into the vehicle and floored it out of there." He said he looked back to see Huynh "covered in blood." Simao said the men stopped over a bridge and Monkman threw a knife into the river.

dean.pritchard@sunmedia.ca


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