Whitehorse Daily Star

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Photo by Emily Blake

REMEMBERING HIM – A memorial for Chris Brisson has been erected at the edge of a Whitehorse parking lot near the place where his body was found in 2015.

Accused said death wasn’t accidental: witness

More details about Chris Brisson’s death were revealed Wednesday in Yukon Supreme Court.

By Emily Blake on November 9, 2017

More details about Chris Brisson’s death were revealed Wednesday in Yukon Supreme Court.

It was the third day of trial for Darryl Sheepway, 39, who is facing a first-degree murder charge in the death of Brisson, 25, in August 2015 in Whitehorse.

While Sheepway admits that he fired the fatal shot, he has gone to trial to argue for a lesser charge.

The court heard testimony from a woman who worked with Sheepway at the time.

She said they used drugs together and that Sheepway confided in her about Brisson’s killing.

Her identity is protected by a publication ban over concerns that her testimony could negatively impact her future. She has recently celebrated almost 18 months of sobriety.

The woman testified outside the courtroom via CCTV. She said she was afraid to be in the same room as Sheepway.

“The last two years of my life have been horrible, horrendous. I have nightmares,” she said.

According to her testimony, she and Sheepway met through work.

They began doing crack cocaine together about once or twice a week at her home.

Sheepway said she introduced him to the drug.

The woman claimed Sheepway would sexually harass her at work and taunt her with drugs when she was trying to stay sober.

There were a number of occasions, she said, where Sheepway would show up at her home unannounced, refusing to leave.

He would bang on her windows and doors, sometimes when her daughter was home, making them afraid.

Sheepway, however, said this only happened one time, and he denied the sexual harassment allegations.

The woman testified that she knew of Brisson and at one point lived next-door to him. The first time she learned about his death, she said, was when it was published in news reports.

Sometime after, she and Sheepway were doing drugs in her basement when she said something seemed off.

“I remember saying, “Whatever it is, you can tell me,’” she recalled.

Sheepway was hesitant, but he eventually told her, “I killed my drug dealer.”

The woman testified that when she asked if it had been accident, Sheepway said no.

He explained he’d had a shotgun hidden on his lap and had shot Brisson. He also told her he took drugs and about $2,000 in cash from Brisson, but gave few other details.

“It was eerie,” the woman said of Sheepway’s demeanour. “He was just kind of stone-faced, like no emotions. It was just kind of monotone.”

The woman said she was in shock and didn’t want to show Sheepway that she was afraid.

“I didn’t want to keep asking questions. What do you say to that? I was kind of uncomfortable.”

She didn’t share the story with anyone for some time, she explained, because she was scared.

She worried that if she went to the RCMP and they questioned Sheepway, the justice system would not be able to protect her from potential retaliation.

Eventually, she told a counsellor at the Alcohol and Drug Services unit, and they immediately went to the RCMP detachment.

But the woman said the officer on duty didn’t take her story seriously, and thought Sheepway was just trying to intimidate her.

The RCMP later followed up, and she gave a formal statement.

The court also heard testimony from Joseph Prendergast, an expert forensic firearms analyst.

He was responsible for identifying the shotgun slug recovered from Brisson’s body as well as examining bullet trajectory in Brisson’s truck.

He testified the slug was consistent with a Remington pump-action 12-gauge shotgun. The court was shown the shotgun seized from Sheepway’s home by RCMP that is alleged to be the murder weapon.

Prendergast also testified about analyzing Brisson’s damaged Chevrolet Silverado at the Whitehorse RCMP detachment garage on Sept. 8, 2015.

Based on the headrest, lead residue and fractures on remaining glass fragments from the truck’s back window, he concluded there were two projectile paths through the back window.

Prendergast could not make any conclusions about the range of fire because the back window had been shattered.

He said one bullet had hit the driver’s side visor and exited the windshield, fragments shattering the rearview mirror.

The other had gone through the driver’s side headrest and hit Brisson.

Co-defence counsel Vincent Larochelle questioned the accuracy of Prendergast’s conclusions and whether he could rule out other possibilities. His cross-examination was expected to continue today.

Sheepway admits to shooting and killing Brisson at a pullout on the McLean Lake Road on Aug. 28, 2015, but the exact details are under dispute.

Sheepway asked Brisson to meet him at the location to purchase crack cocaine, but had no money at the time.

They met at around 3:48 p.m. with their trucks parked facing opposite directions with the driver’s side windows about one foot apart.

When Brisson looked down to get drugs out of his pocket, Sheepway raised his shotgun and told Brisson to give him whatever drugs he had.

In dispute is Sheepway’s claim that Brisson grabbed the gun, and while they were struggling, two shots went off accidentally, shattering Brisson’s truck windows.

When Brisson drove forward, Sheepway said, he leaned out his window and fired at the back window of Brisson’s truck.

The agreed statement of facts says Brisson managed to back out of the pullout but crashed into the bush on the opposite side of the road.

Sheepway found Brisson’s body lying on the ground and took drugs and cash out of his pockets.

An autopsy revealed Brisson had died of “catastrophic blood loss” caused by the shotgun slug.

After driving home and changing his clothes, Sheepway returned to retrieve the shotgun shells and put Brisson’s body in the back of his truck.

He drove to the Miles Canyon Road, where he disposed of the body on a hill overlooking the canyon near the suspension bridge.

Brisson’s body was found on Sept. 1, 2015 by a mushroom picker.

A memorial for him has been erected at the edge of a nearby parking lot.

A white cross bearing his name is enshrined with flowers and candles.

Justice Leigh Gower is presiding over the trial.

Comments (5)

Up 11 Down 6

Just Say'in on Nov 12, 2017 at 2:40 pm

@Dispute.

All though I agree with you completely, why say you are sorry so much. What is with that in our language these day. I'm not sorry I had nothing to do with it. I am perplexed, angry, disgusted, but not Sorry. We say Sorry way too much. Especially when we don't mean it.

Up 30 Down 2

Poor WH on Nov 10, 2017 at 10:23 pm

Is no one concerned with the fact that these people are and we’re JAIL GUARDS. The Yukon government has to start drug testing there critical employees it is no wonder our jails are revolving doors. If you go to jail for selling dope and your customer base is in charge of the care and rehabilitation? My heart goes out to the family’s involved and the poor mushroom pickers who found Chris. That can’t be easy

Up 20 Down 1

Captain Obvious on Nov 10, 2017 at 4:03 pm

The shots went through the back window.
He brought a gun to a crack deal and had it ready.

He pulls out shotgun and tries to jack him, Chris tries to drive away, and the guy puts 2 shotgun rounds FROM A PUMP through THE BACK WINDOW. You can't "accidentally" rack a second round and fire. That's plain and simple premeditated robbery that went wrong, and turned into a 1st degree homicide.

I don't like what they were doing, but it sure as hell wasn't worth a young man losing his life over... 2 young men, when you look at it.

Up 48 Down 1

Rambo on Nov 10, 2017 at 12:44 pm

I daresay it wasn't accidental... By the time you get a 3rd shot off from a pump action shotgun there's nothing accidental about it, that's full on Rambo mode.

Up 44 Down 1

Dispute of facts?!? on Nov 9, 2017 at 5:45 pm

The dispute is it's an accident because Brisson shoved away a gun that this guy pointed in his face? seriously? in a remote area that he picked? And then picked up the shells and hid his body? And checked on it?
A lot of people have made it thru life without pointing firearms at other people.

So sorry for the sorrow of all the victim's family members and children who's lives were changed when this guy decided the life of a son, father and family member was worth $50 of crack, and sorry for what it did to his own family too. What a terrible, horrible and completely unnecessary tragedy

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