Day 5 of manslaughter trial in Kamloops

By Jessica Lepp
October 23, 2015 - 12:40pm

On the 5th day of a B.C. Supreme Court jury trial in the death of a Kamloops woman, a witness testified the accused David Gordon was involved in a domestic dispute prior to allegedly starting a house fire. 39 year old Marie Ricard told court he threatened to kill her while she was on the phone with the cops. 

Marie Ricard said she and David Gordon moved into a suite at 927 St Paul Street in April 2013 one week before the house fire that severely injured Cheryl William. William died in hospital four days later.Gordon is facing charges of manslaughter and arson.

Ricard told the jury, she and Gordon shared a 12 pack of beer, consumed other alcohol and had smoked pot leading up to the fire. That night Ricard said they and three others were in their back yard drinking and having a good time when Gordon started accusing her of sleeping with another man. Ricard said she tried to get away from Gordon and went inside the house, where Gordon shoved her to the floor and dumped a glass of alcohol on her head. She said when she was calling the cops on him, he began threatening to kill her. The witness began to sob in court and said "I wish I didn't have to relive this night over and over again". Ricard noted that the victim, Cheryl William, wanted to go home because she worked the next day but that another man convinced her to stay the night.

In court this morning, the jury heard from 22 year old Devyn Skeels who lived across the road from the house fire. Skeels testified a man in a white tank top pounded on his door at 1 AM, freaking out and saying his house was on fire. He says the man was hysterically crying and saying there were people inside.

Eric Nykoluk with Kamloops Fire Rescue also took the witness stand. He says he and another firefighter arrived on scene and went inside the home to look for victims. Nykoluk says only minutes later his partner found a body. He said the two lifted the woman out of the house and placed her on the lawn, noting she was unresponsive.

Firefighter Dan Wright testified in court that a native man appeared to be trying to stop the man in a white tank top from leaving the scene. He said the native male, who appeared upset and in shock, was saying "you started the fire, why did you do it?" Wright said the verbal exchange escalated to a fist fight. He said the man in the tank, was shortly after taken into police custody.

Fire destroys Sun Peaks house under construction