'I could see the look of fear in her eyes': Gas-and-dash murder trial hears first-hand account from passenger

'He was going to get away over her dead body': Closing arguments made in gas-and-dash murder trial

Moments after Joshua Mitchell fled a gas station with a tank full of stolen fuel, his passenger Braydon Brown says he looked into Maryam Rashidi's terrified eyes as the gas station attendant, clinging to the hood of the truck, realized she was in trouble. 

Brown was the final witness called by prosecutors Jonathan Hak and James Thomas at the second-degree murder trial in Calgary of Joshua Mitchell, who is accused of running down Rashidi in a fatal gas-and-dash.

Brown told jurors when Mitchell couldn't "shake" Rashidi off the hood, he made a plan.

"He looked at me and said 'I'm just going to go,'" said Brown.

The fatal encounter began after Brown pumped gas into the stolen Ford F350 truck on June 7, 2015, and then hopped into the back of the cab while Mitchell drove off without paying. 

Within seconds, Brown said he noticed Rashidi chasing the truck through the neighbouring Home Depot parking lot.

By the time Brown and Mitchell pulled into standstill traffic on 16th Ave. N.W., Rashidi had caught up and began banging on the window before climbing on the truck's hood.

"I told Josh to shake her off," said Brown.

Reversing and driving forward didn't do the trick, so Brown says Mitchell made the decision to take off.

'All I seen is her body rolling'

In tears, Mitchell's former friend described the next few fatal seconds.

"I could see the look of fear in her eyes," Brown said of Rashidi, who was clinging to the truck's hood.

"[Her eyes] got big, her face went white, like she didn't know what to do, she was stuck."

Soon, Rashidi couldn't hang on anymore and Brown says he felt the truck bump over her twice.

"I looked out the back window and all I seen is her body rolling ... it looked like she coughed up blood."

From there, Brown said Mitchell took off and eventually the two ditched the stolen truck near the Brentwood LRT station and walked to a friend's home where they stayed for the next two days.

After spotting himself on the news when police released a photo from the Centex station, Brown says he felt guilty and wanted to turn himself in.

"I felt heavy on the inside because of all the s**t that happened," he said. 

Brown said he messaged his grandmother to pick him up but before she arrived police descended on the home where he and Mitchell had been hiding out.

Mitchell hid in a closet, according to Brown, and he surrendered to police. It was two days after the incident and the same day Rashidi died of her injuries.

Closing arguments Thursday

Brown admitted he had "a little bit" of trouble remembering some of the facts of the incident because two years had passed, he told defence lawyer Kim Ross under cross-examination.

The witness also said Mitchell might have said "I'm just going to go" once Rashidi was on the hood of the truck, not when she was at the passenger side window, as he'd told the prosecution earlier.

"It's possible, I'm not 100 per cent sure," Brown told Ross.

The Crown has rested its case and defence will not call any evidence. Closing arguments are set for Thursday.

After that, jurors receive final instructions before being sequestered until a verdict is reached.

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