'The bullets in that car hit their targets' Windsor murder trial nears completion after more than three months
WARNING: Graphic content
Closing arguments were completed Monday in the months-long trial of three men from the Kitchener area accused in the murder of a Windsor woman.
Tameko Vilneus, 28, Kyle Hanna, 29, and Keermaro Rolle, 26 are each charged with first degree murder in the death of Madisen Gingras, 20, who was killed on April 1, 2020 as well as attempted murder.
It’s the Crown’s belief Keermaro Rolle was the one to shoot Gingras in the back of the head at point blank range.
Hanna loaded the gun used in the shooting and Vilneus’ DNA could not be excluded from a swab taken from a strap used to choke Reaume, according to the Crown’s closing statements.
Assistant Crown attorney Delia Greco told the jury all three men knew about and aided in the plan “for what they were going to do that night.”
The Crown’s key witness is also the surviving victim, Jacob Reaume, Gingras’ boyfriend.
“There are a lot of inconsistencies in his statement to police,” Greco admitted to the jury Monday but she asked them to rely on the “independent objective evidence” they presented to substantiate his testimony.
During his 16 days on the stand, Reaume admitted to lying to police and during the trial’s preliminary hearing.
Reaume, the jury heard, was a dealer in the Windsor area for the drug-trafficking “enterprise” that was based in Kitchener.
Gingras was also “part of the drug subculture” in Windsor, according to the Crown.
Greco asked the jury to consider a few other pieces of evidence including:
- Reaume had no reason to kill Gingras as the couple was in the middle of moving into a new place the day she died
- Reaume willingly allowed the police to search his cellphone knowing it would likely contain incriminating evidence
- Reaume went to his father’s home immediately after the shooting looking for help, telling him “they shot Maddy”
- Reaume was also shot in the arm
- Reaume was also bound and “choked out” by a zip tie tied around his neck by the accused men
According to the Crown, the accused played “Russian roulette” with Gingras inside the bathtub of a South Windsor hotel room bathroom.
Gingras had a strap placed around her neck and Reaume testified she “begged for her life” as she tried to “fight not being strangled.”
The jury heard evidence Gingras was forced to consume a “loonie” sized amount of fentanyl and drink five cups of water by the accused.
Gingras was taken outside to Reaume’s car with her hands zip tied at the wrists before being shot in the passenger seat of the vehicle.
“The bullets in that car hit their targets,” Greco told the jury when asking them to consider why there weren’t more stray bullet holes inside the vehicle.
Reaume was shot in the arm with a “through and through” wound to his bicep.
Greco reminded the jury Rolle and Vilneus got out of the vehicle and continued to shoot while Reaume drove away.
The windshield and rear window were shattered as a result, according to the Crown and bullet casings were found on the ground by police.
During the trial, there was a lot of cellphone evidence, from messaging apps, phone calls and text messages.
They showed the jury a text message from a cellphone the Crown says belonged to Rolle which read “last person I killed was a b***h too, in case you didn’t know.”
Cellphone records also show multiple online searches for “Windsor news” and “Windsor shooting,” from cell towers in the region, in the days after the incident.
After the shooting, communication between Reaume and the accused men stopped.
The jury was reminded of evidence from Gingras’ autopsy.
A toxicologist found an “extremely high” level of fentanyl in Gingras’ body, a level that was 10 times higher than any amount the scientist had ever seen and one which would have likely lead to overdose.
A forensic pathologist also had to remove zip ties from Gingras’ neck and wrists.
Charge to the jury:
Justice Maria Carroccia started her ‘charge to the jury’ Monday afternoon.
“I will instruct you on the law,” Justice Carroccia said before advising the charge will conclude Tuesday morning and then the case will be given to the jury for deliberations.
As of Tuesday, the jury will be sequestered until they can reach a unanimous verdict, beyond a reasonable doubt of the accused’s innocence or guilt.
Here are the defence lawyers theories, based on their closing arguments which concluded Friday June 2.
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