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Accused killer changes story

Kyle Barber - Facebook memorial page
Kyle Barber
— image credit: Facebook memorial page

The trial of the two men charged with killing 24-year-old Aldergrove resident Kyle Barber heard how one of them has changed his version of events considerably since he spoke to police.

Gregory Michael Barrett, 32, originally said it was Barber’s girlfriend who ran to a bedroom to get a gun when he and co-accused Albert Jacob Jackman, 24, paid the couple a visit at their Fraser Highway home on March 28, 2009.

Now, he says it was Barber who suddenly left the living room to arm himself.

Barrett is charged with manslaughter and Jackman is charged with first degree murder in Barber’s stabbing death.

On Wednesday, Crown prosecutor Christopher McPherson presented a video of Barrett’s police interrogation.

The ceiling-mounted camera recorded Barrett sitting in a chair against the far corner of the small interrogation room.

The police officer asking the questions can be seen from the back, seated and leaning forward with some papers piled on a desk beside the two men.

Barrett told the officer that he and Jackman went to the house to question the occupants about a break-in with no intention of getting physical.

About four hours into the video recording, the officer questioning Barrett asked him to lead him through the sequence of events.

“I was just standing at the door,” Barrett said.

Then, he said, Barber’s girlfriend made her move.

“No one’s even said anything yet [about the break-in] and there’s a gun out. Like holy cow.”

During questioning in court Barrett said it was Barber who ran to the bedroom, after Jackman said something about being owed $50,000.

Barrett had not mentioned the apparent demand for compensation during his police interrogation or his initial testimony in court, the prosecutor noted.

During the cross-examination by the Crown, Barrett admitted he was incorrect when he told the officer nothing was said about the break-in before the gun incident and wrong when he said Barber’s girlfriend was the one who grabbed for a gun.

“That wasn’t true.”

Barrett’s lawyer interrupted to add his client also told the police officer that he didn’t have a clear memory of what happened.

Barrett said he was bent down by the front door, playing with the dog, not paying much attention when Barber moved quickly to the bedroom, followed by Jackman and then Barber’s girlfriend.

Barrett and Jackman have both testified that everything was peaceful at first when they arrived at the Barber residence and it was Barber, not they, who turned it violent by scrambling for a gun.

Both insist they did not go to the house planning to harm anyone.

Families of the victim and the accused were both in court for Wednesday’s testimony.

Barber’s family sat at the front right row of seats, while Jackman’s family sat on the left front where the imprisoned suspect could see them as he was led into the courtroom by sheriffs.

Barrett, who is free on bail, arrived with two people who sat a few rows behind the Barber family.

The trial continues.

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