Agg. assault trial carried over

Closing arguments in an aggravated assault case that allegedly left one man paralyzed have been adjourned until January 19.

On the morning of December 28, the trial of Kim Madsen—which convened in November —continued with eyewitness Crown testimony from two persons who were at the Country Inn on September 24 early in the morning when the defendant allegedly attacked Dennis Peepeetch.

The witnesses built on the Crown’s theme that Peepeetch was drinking moderately that morning and the previous evening and was relatively pleasant when he approached Madsen and a female companion in the City Limits bar.

Prosecutor Andrew Wyatt used the witnesses to underscore the size difference between the two men, attempt to establish the accused as extremely angry and agitated and that the victim was unable to move after being slammed into the ground several times.

The second Crown witness, Dixie Chmarney, testified Madsen was beside himself after the incident, describing him as a “raving idiot.” She claimed he threatened to kill her when she tried to take a picture of him.

Afterward, she said she sat with and comforted an unresponsive Peepeetch until an ambulance arrived.

Defence attorney David Rusnak would later counter the testimony that Peepeetch was immobile with evidence from the paramedic who initially attended the scene. On December 29, Colin Niebergall testified that when he arrived Peepeetch was able to move his arms and possibly his legs and that the victim did not complain of any pain in his neck or back.

First up for the defence on the afternoon of December 28, however, was the defendant.

Under chief examination, Madsen testified a belligerent Peepeetch had gone out of his way to insinuate himself into the conversation the accused was having with a female companion, Jessica Walsh. Without provocation, Madsen claimed, Peepeetch called Walsh a “slut” and him a “[expleted] white boy.”

The defendant said he had ignored that, but when Peepeetch came back to the table and spat in his face, he reacted instantly grabbing the man by the lapels and throwing him to the ground several times.

In November, Dr. Anil Kumar, who treated Peepeetch after he was transferred to Regina, testified that given a pre-existing spinal condition he called “bamboo spine” the action shown in a surveillance video would have been sufficient to cause the injuries that led to Peepeetch’s paralysis.

In cross-examination of Madsen, Wyatt used that same video to counter the testimony that Peepeetch had spit in the defendant’s face asking Madsen to point out to the Court the head motion of the man spitting. The prosecutor suggested Madsen had made up the spitting incident in order to justify his attack on Peepeetch.

Rusnak objected characterizing the video as “grainy” and of “marginal definition.”

The defence also called Alicia Delorme, a cousin of Peepeetch, who said she had seen Madsen wiping spit from his face immediately following the incident. On review of the video, it did not appear this had happened.

Walsh also testified, corroborating Madsen’s story in chief, but on cross admitted there were inconsistencies between her testimony and two statements she gave to police on the morning in question and approximately a week later.

After the defence rested, the lawyers advised Judge Patrick Reis that the Crown wished to bring back a witness to rebut some of Madsen’s evidence. Reis scheduled the January 19 date for that testimony, for closing arguments in the assault case and to speak to several breach charges that were also set for trial, but have yet to be addressed.

A continuation date of February 1 also remains booked in case it is needed.

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