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Windsor murder trial winding to a close after crown finishes examining accused

A three-month-long Windsor murder trial is nearing its conclusion after both the Crown and defence rested on calling additional evidence or witnesses at Superior Court Tuesday.

Tameko Vilneus, 28, Kyle Hanna, 29, and Keermaro Rolle, 26, are each charged with first-degree murder in the April 1, 2020, shooting death of 20-year-old Madisen Gingras.

The three men were drug suppliers to Jacob Reaume, a local dealer of crystal meth and fentanyl. Gingras was dating Reaume when she was fatally shot in the back of the head in Reaume’s vehicle on Northwood Drive in South Windsor.

According to an agreed upon statement of facts, Reaume and Gingras were at a motel with Vilneus, Hanna and Rolle the night of the shooting.

Testimony from Reaume earlier in the trial alleged Keermaro Rolle was the one who shot Gingras, while Vilneus was also in the back seat of the car at the time of the shooting.

Vilneus tells a very different version of events, that neither he nor Rolle ever got into Reaume’s car, that they left the motel room separately.

Despite Vilneus’ story, assistant Crown attorney Nicole Lamphier spent the last few days at trial suggesting Vilneus was indeed at the scene of the crime. Vilneus repeatedly said he wasn’t there, disagreeing with every suggestion the crown made to that effect.

Lamphier suggested to Vilneus on the stand that the three men hatched a plan to “take care of” Reaume and Gingras after a recent home invasion where Reaume lost $30,000 worth of drugs and about $10,000 cash.

Text messages read during trial indicated at least one of the accused was suspicious that the home invasion was set up. Vilneus denied he was aware of the text message and when asked if he was frustrated with Reaume the night of the shooting, he said “no.”

In another instance, Lamphier quizzed Vilneus about the group’s time together in the Huron Church motel room.

In Reaume’s version of events, it’s alleged he and Gingras were bound with zip ties and guns were pointed at them by the accused.

But in Vilneus’ version, he alleges the three accused didn’t touch Reaume or Gingras, but instead it was the couple that was fighting.

“They’re fighting. It’s a physical fight. The two of them are exchanging blows with each other. Face, body, they’re throwing blows at each other,” said Vilneus on the stand. “It was a physical fight. It was not a play fight.”

He said after the fight, they were both bleeding from their mouths and their nose.

Lamphier pointed to earlier evidence from a pathologist, who described injuries sustained by Gingras. Lamphier said the pathologist didn’t mention anything about cuts or bruising to her face.

Court was also shown video from that night, including motel surveillance video showing someone leaving the motel at 10:38 p.m., allegedly moments before the shooting took place.

The next video was surveillance from a nearby business, where you could hear gun shots ringing out.

Lamphier suggested Rolle shot Gingras from the back seat, then Reaume was shot in the arm with a 9 mm handgun. She suggested when Rolle and Vilneus left the vehicle that Vilneus then fired three shots from a revolver at the back of the car while it drove away, before hopping into the getaway car.

“You want him dead and he’s not dead if he’s driving,” suggested Lamphier.

“No,” said Vilneus in response to the allegation.

“You’re shooting your revolver hoping it hits one or both of them,” Lamphier pressed.

“No,” Vilneus responded again.

She also pointed to three phone calls, made between Vilneus and co-accused Kyle Hanna at 10:43 p.m., 10:45 p.m. and 10:47 p.m.

When she asked about the nature of those calls, Vilneus said, “We stopped at the gas station or rest stop, and had multiple conversations about snacks and stuff.”

After a few more questions about how the drugs they brought for Reaume were packaged, Lamphier rested.

When given the opportunity to re-examine his witness defence lawyer Christopher Hicks declined, thus bringing an end to evidence in the trial.

Lawyers will spend the next few days in a pre-charge conference.

On May 30 at 1 p.m., the 14-member jury will return to hear closing submissions from three defence lawyers, including Hicks, Harpreet Saini and Frank Retar, as well as assistant Crown attorney Lamphier. That’s expected to take a few days.

Justice Maria Carrocia then plans to give instructions to and charge the jury by the weekend, sequestering them until they reach a verdict. Top Stories

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