RCMP provide testimony in Gentles’ B.C. Supreme Court trial

Williams Lake man accused of killing one young woman and injuring another while driving in 2012 cried in an RCMP cruiser after his arrest.

A Williams Lake man accused of killing one young woman and injuring another while driving in 2012 cried in the back of an RCMP cruiser after being arrested, a Supreme Court Justice heard this week.

Martin William Michael Gentles, 30, faces several charges including dangerous and impaired driving causing the death of Rayel MacDonald and bodily harm to Alysha Mullett, and failure to stop at an accident involving a person.

Gentles was charged after an incident on April 22, 2012, when both young women were attempting to cross Carson Drive with a group of friends after attending the Indoor Rodeo Dance and were struck by a pickup truck.

During the B.C. Supreme Court Trial in Williams Lake, which began Monday before Justice John D. Truscott, nine RCMP officers are expected to testify.

On the first two days of trial, the Crown called Const. James MacKinnon and Staff Sgt. Ken Brissard to the stand.

Both testified they were the first officers to have contact with Gentles.

MacKinnon said that on the night in question, at around 2:10 a.m., he left the Cariboo Memorial Complex to conduct patrols outside a local pub.

When he left Proctor Street and headed onto Fifth Avenue North travelling toward Carson Drive, he observed a dark pickup truck narrowly miss the right hand side curb as it turned onto Fifth Avenue from Carson.

He testified the truck was travelling at an estimated speed of 80 km an hour.

MacKinnon said he made a three-point turn and pursued the truck.

During his testimony, Brissard testified he was located a block away near Fourth Avenue North and Cameron Street when he saw the small pickup “fish tail” around the corner of Proctor Street and head north toward his direction.

Brissard said he made a U-turn and pursued the truck up Fourth Avenue and left down Cameron Street.

When he attempted to overtake the truck on Third Avenue North, Brissard said the driver suddenly pulled over and parked on the side of the road.

Brissard testified that he walked up to the driver side of the vehicle and asked the driver, “What the hell do you think you’re doing?” and instructed him to shut off the vehicle and produce his driver’s license.

Brissard said that, soon afterwards, Gentles made a statement that caught him off guard.

“He stated, ‘There was about 17 of them, they jumped out, I couldn’t stop,’” the officer said.

The comment prompted Brissard to look toward the front of the truck, where he could see some damage to the hood area.

“I then moved around to the front,” Brissard said during testimony. “At that point, I could see the grill was essentially smashed right out and there were just bits and pieces. Gentles then said, ‘Oh, that happened last week.’”

At about that same time, Brissard turned his police radio on and realized “it was alive” with activity, he recalled in court.

“I could tell by the demeanour of the voices on the radio that something serious had transpired,” Brissard said.

Brissard said he then radioed in that he had a vehicle and there had been an admission.

According to his testimony, MacKinnon, who was now travelling up Second Avenue North, heard Brissard’s message and headed to where Brissard and Gentles were parked. When he arrived, he noticed Const. Colin Champagne was on the scene and was speaking with the passenger.

Brissard testified he left MacKinnon in charge, then proceeded to the scene at Carson Drive.

MacKinnon testified after he administered an approved screening device test for blood alcohol and it failed, he placed the suspect in the back seat of the police vehicle and transported him to the RCMP detachment.

“As we’re driving he doesn’t say anything further he just cries in the back of the car,” MacKinnon told the court.

Evidence given by the officers is part of a voir dire, a trial within a trial, to determine what evidence will be admissible.

By at Thursday noon, RCMP Sgt. Dean Robinson, Constables Champagne and Henderson, and now retired Corp. Thomas Erickson had provided testimony.

It is anticipated that civilian witnesses and a toxicologist will be called in as witnesses next week as the trial continues.


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Interior Health has issued an overdose alert for 100 Mile House.
Interior Health issues overdose alert for 100 Mile House

Health officials encourage users to be careful and spread the word.

Community Volunteer Income Tax Program (CVITP) co-ordinator Surinderpal Rathor (from left) Judy Gibbons and Rajneesh Khugsal, seen here in 2020, are all ready to help people file their taxes. (Patrick Davies photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Williams Lake volunteers ready to offer community income tax program

Co-ordinator Surinderpal Rathor said he has already received inquiries

Women’s Contact Society community liaison Eileen Alberton with her dogs Luigi, left, and Sami enjoys a daily walk in Big Lake. (Photo submitted)
Women’s wellness focus of International Women’s Day events in Williams Lake

In its third year, the event will be offered virtually

A snowfall warning has been issued for Williams Lake and Quesnel. (Black Press Media)
Snowfall warning issued for Cariboo region

Between 10 to 15 cm expected

A dose of COVID-19 vaccine is prepared at a vaccination clinic in Montreal’s Olympic Stadium on Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
39 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health region

The total number of cases in the region since the pandemic began is now at 7,334

Abbotsford’s Kris Collins turned to TikTok out of boredom when the provincial COVID-19 lockdown began in March 2020. She now has over 23 million followers on the video app. Photo: Submitted
Internet famous: Abbotsford’s Kris Collins is a TikTok comedy queen

Collins has found surprise stardom alone with a phone

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Nanaimo children’s author and illustrator Lindsay Ford’s latest book is ‘Science Girl.’ (Photo courtesy Lindsay Ford)
B.C. children’s writer encourages girls to pursue the sciences in new book

Lindsay Ford is holding a virtual launch for latest book, ‘Science Girl’

Pig races at the 145th annual Chilliwack Fair on Aug. 12, 2017. Monday, March 1, 2021 is Pig Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Feb. 28 to March 6

Pig Day, Canadian Bacon Day and Grammar Day are all coming up this week

Staff from the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre, passersby, RCMP and Nanaimo Fire Rescue carried a sick 300-kilogram steller sea lion up the steep bluff at Invermere Beach in north Nanaimo in an attempt to save the animal’s life Thursday. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Rescue Centre)
300-kilogram sea lion muscled up from B.C. beach in rescue attempt

Animal dies despite efforts of Nanaimo marine mammal rescue team, emergency personnel and bystanders

Doctors and counsellors warn of an increase in panic attacks, anxiety, depression and suicide ideas between ages 10 to 14, in Campbell River. ( Black Press file photo)
Extended pandemic feeding the anxieties of B.C.’s youth

Parents not sure what to do, urged to reach out for help

Kara Sorensen, diagnosed with lung cancer in July, says it’s important for people to view her as healthy and vibrant, rather than sick. (Photo courtesy of Karen Sorensen)
B.C. woman must seek treatment overseas for inoperable lung cancer

Fundraising page launched on Karen Sorensen’s behalf, with a goal of $250,000

Gina Adams as she works on her latest piece titled ‘Undying Love’. (Submitted photo)
‘Toothless’ the kitty inspires B.C. wood carver to break out the chainsaw

Inspired by plight of a toothless cat, Gina Adams offers proceeds from her artwork to help animals

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson presents bill to delay B.C.’s budget as late as April 30, and allow further spending before that, B.C. legislature, Dec. 8, 2020. (Hansard TV)
How big is B.C.’s COVID-19 deficit? We’ll find out April 20

More borrowing expected as pandemic enters second year

Most Read