Ashley MacLean Kearse—a Nova Scotian woman who was shot and left partially paralyzed in November 2014—was actually a collateral victim in a drug deal gone bad, a court heard Tuesday.
According to the CBC, Cole Harbour man Jordan Langworthy—testifying at the trial of 20-year-old Markel Jason Downey—claims the shooting incident was retaliation for having sold off a fake gram of pot consisting of cat hair and herbal spices.
Downey—the accused shooter in the case—is facing 28 charges, including three counts of attempted murder. The three other men involved in the incident were young offenders. All of them pleaded guilty in August 2015.
Langworthy told the court that he was at home playing video games with Kearse when four masked men barged into the home, and accused Langworthy of having sold a fake gram of marijuana to somebody the assailants knew.
One of the suspects allegedly yelled at the pair, "You didn't think I would find out that you sold me a fake gram?" After admitting the drugs he sold were fake, Langworthy says he tried to reason with the assailants, telling them that he "didn't make a dime off the sale" and was actually just moving the gram (around $10 street value) for a friend.
After being forced into a bedroom with Kearse, one of the men reportedly asked Langworthy where the money and weed was. Langworthy says it was at this point that one of the men, carrying a handgun, began to shoot at the pair before fleeing the home with the three other assailants.
"I told [Kearse] that it couldn't have been real," Langworthy told the court. "They must have been blanks and we're all going to be OK." Moments later, Langworthy realized that he had been hit in the head, and Kearse wasn't moving.
Downey, whose lawyer has fiercely fought the charges (and argued that there is inconsistencies in Langworthy's story), represented Nova Scotia as a boxer in the 2011 Canada Games. He won gold in his weight class.
Kearse, who has been paralyzed from the chest down since the incident, was 18 at the time of the shooting, and was supposed to graduate from high school the following year. She is expected to testify at trial sometime in the next week.
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