OTTAWA - For the first time since the trial started, the jury deciding former RCMP officer Kevin Gregson’s fate heard the accused describe what happened the night he killed Const. Eric Czapnik.
Speaking to a packed courtroom, Gregson took the witness stand on Thursday morning in his own defence.
He’s pleaded not guilty in the first degree murder of the stabbing death of Czapnik on Dec. 29, 2009.
“I didn’t do it intentionally, it was a reaction. I’m trained up the wazoo. I just reacted. He punched me and I just reacted somehow, it was just habit, my training,” Gregson described how he ended up stabbing Czapnik. “I didn’t do it intentionally. I did it, but I didn’t do it.”
Gregson said he went to the Civic Hospital to get a gun to kill himself.
He’s told the court he’d earlier tried to kill himself by cutting the jugular in his neck but failed.
That’s when he decided to get a gun from a police officer.
Czapnik was working in the early morning hours of Dec 29, filling out paperwork in the parking lot by the emergency bay.
Gregson said he approached a police cruiser and told the officer to get out, get on his knees and put his hands in the air.
The police officer did get out of the car as Gregson was waiving his BB gun in the air so Czapnik wouldn’t realize it wasn’t real.
Czapnik fell back and attempted to grab his gun, and Gregson fought him for it.
That’s when Czapnik gave him a “good hit” to the bridge of his nose.
“I didn’t decide to pull the knife, it just came out, this is just my opinion. The stuff I learned was supposed to be for good, but I am lethal and effective. I didn’t do it intentionally, I just reacted, it was fast, fast,” he said, demonstrating two quick movements with his hands.
“I don’t know how to explain it, I did it, but I didn’t do it, I don’t feel evil and nefarious, I didn’t do it. That’s why I’m saying not guilty, that’s what happened.”
So why did he have two bullet-proof vests and carry two knives if he had no intention of harming anyone? Habit.
Through his three hours on the stand, Gregson jumped from one story to the next.
“The policeman I killed was a good man. I killed him but I didn’t murder him,” he said.
“I waited two years, two months and eight days tell you that.,” he said, having already told the jury since there was no intent, he should have been charged with manslaughter.
In rambling, almost stream of conscience testimony, Gregson seemed intent on presenting himself in an unflattering light, swearing often, making disparaging remarks about most everyone — from the brave paramedics to his RCMP colleagues.
The only time he showed any real emotion was when he spoke about his mother.
He said at one point during his near monologue, that he’d left Saskatchewan during a difficult period, to come home to Ottawa “for reassurance.”
Shortly after that, he said there’d been a problem because he’d been “boinking my mother’s hairstylist.”
“She never knew that... sorry mom. I’ve had my ups and downs. I have a problem with morality, I like women,”
To you he said, talking to the jury, “I’m a 45 guy who is a potential monster.
“To my mom, I’m five, I’ll always be five,” he said, and then it appeared he started to cry.
Displaying an incredible coldness when referring to the death of Czapnik, he referred to it as “the thing with Eric.”
The Crown is expected to begin its cross examination of Gregson Friday morning.