Ryan Saint Ange

Trial begins for accused killer of Ryan Saint Ange

Twenty-one-year-old Abbotsford man was killed in January of 2012.

Having already sustained a violent beating and a bullet wound to the leg, 21-year-old Ryan Saint Ange was incapacitated but still alive when he was shot to death in his 56th Street basement suite apartment on a snowy night in January 2012, Crown counsel Carolyn Lawlor told a jury Tuesday at the start of Robert Adam Van Dusen’s second-degree murder trial.

Van Dusen’s trial began in B.C. Supreme Court in Chilliwack with Justice Laura Gerow telling a five-man, seven-woman jury that it will be up to them to decide if the evidence and testimony presented in court  is sufficient to convict the accused.

Some of that evidence, it was soon revealed by Lawlor, will come from Shayne Vauthrin, who already pleaded guilty to manslaughter with a firearm in connection to the slaying and who will testify about what happened the night of Saint Ange’s death.

“On Jan. 14, 2012, there was a storm brewing in Abbotsford, both weather-wise and in Mr. Vauthrin,” Lawlor told the jury during her opening statement.

Several months before, Vauthrin had moved out of the basement suite where he lived because of a “falling out” with his roommate, Lawlor said.

The night of the killing, Vauthrin had viewed a Facebook page advertising for sale belongings he believed were rightfully his. The page belonged to Saint Ange, whom he had considered a friend and who now lived in his former room.

Lawlor said Vauthrin will testify that he tried to recruit friends to go to the home, where they would “steal belongings and teach the occupants a lesson,” but Van Dusen was the only person willing to accompany Vauthrin.

Both men carried handguns and another man, who is also expected to testify, volunteered to drive a van to the residence, Lawlor said.

She said when the men arrived at Saint Ange’s home, the house looked unoccupied, but when Vauthrin entered the home and proceeded down the stairs to his old room, he found Saint Ange inside.

Lawlor said an angry Vauthrin hit Saint Ange over the head with his .22-calibre pistol, which then discharged and sent a bullet flying across the room.

She said a startled Vauthrin then put down the gun, picked up a nearby hatchet and began to bash Saint Ange over the head. Saint Ange was sitting on a love seat in the room and  fighting back, but the altercation abruptly ended with another gunshot, Lawlor said.

She said Vauthrin will testify that Van Dusen shot Saint Ange in the leg.

After Vauthrin and Van Dusen exchanged words, Lawlor said Van Dusen “steps forward, leans over Mr. Saint Ange, who was still on the love seat, and shot him.”

She said Van Dusen quickly left the room, followed shortly after by Vauthrin. The entire incident took five minutes.

Following Lawlor’s statement, a video of the crime scene was shown in which Saint Ange is lying face down in a pool of blood. There is also blood on top of an adjacent bed, and on the walls and window sills next to the love seat.

The trial is expected to last six weeks.

Just Posted

VIDEO: Langley realtor builds holiday party for kids

Realtor Matthew Rufh hosted a gingerbread house-building party for the Langley Boys and Girls Club.

Giants defenceman Byram headed to NHL prospects game

The young player is following in the footsteps of former Giant Ty Ronning.

Langley Rams receiver inks with BC Lions

Jevon Cottoy joined the Rams this season and now has a multi-year contract with the Lions.

UPDATE: Heavy rainfall, strong winds in forecast for Lower Mainland

Heavy rains, snow expected till Friday morning

McGregor Says: Shopping husbands will survive

Columnist Jim McGregor offers a little advise to those husbands required to go Christmas shopping.

Omar Khadr wants changes to bail conditions

‘My life is held in suspension’, says the former Guantanamo Bay detainee

Lions announce seven members of coaching staff not coming back for 2019

The operational moves come two days after the Lions announced DeVone Claybrooks as the team’s new head coach

Christmas fun at Aldergrove Library: VIDEO & PHOTOS

Youngsters enjoyed decorating a Christmas tree with their homemade craft decorations

$12K awarded to atheist family who oppose Christmas, Hanukkah in B.C. classroom

Gary Mangel,May Yasue said holidays, Remembrance Day and Valentine’s Day not appropriate in preschool

Kodiaks avenge themselves against Pilots: ACTION PHOTOS

Aldergrove and Abbotsford Junior B hockey teams tie game at 5-5

Coach accused of sexual assault says apology letter was misinterpreted

Dave Brubaker has pleaded not guilty to one count of sexual assault and one count of invitation to sexual touching

Give the gift of nature this holiday season

Please don’t be mad, but I bought you a moose

Aboriginal poet faces backlash for calling out NHL-themed totem poles

Rebecca Thomas says she received backlash for asking a drugstore chain to remove NHL merchandise

Metro Vancouver mayors vote to ‘develop’ $1.65B in Fraser Highway SkyTrain plans

Surrey will have to ‘compensate’ for the $56 million already spent on light rail

Most Read