Man accused of killing 81-year-old believed senior stole his speaker, Crown alleges

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Basil Sweezy, 38, is on trial for manslaughter in the death of an elderly man who suffered a head injury at the Sunnyside CTrain Station in 2020. (Calgary Police Service - image credit)
Basil Sweezy, 38, is on trial for manslaughter in the death of an elderly man who suffered a head injury at the Sunnyside CTrain Station in 2020. (Calgary Police Service - image credit)

The motive that led to an 81-year-old's death was a misunderstanding over a stolen wireless speaker, the prosecution has alleged at the trial for the man accused of killing the Calgary senior.

Basil Sweezey, 38, is accused of pushing Tianquan Yang on the Sunnyside CTrain platform in August 2020.

Yang suffered a head injury and died two months later in hospital.

The incident that was initially described by Calgary Police Service as an "insignificant misunderstanding" took place on Aug. 15, 2020.

Sweezey was sitting on the CTrain platform and placed a small speaker on a recycling bin.

Another man stole it.

Around the same time, Yang was searching for empty bottles and cans on the platform.

Yang died 2 months after head injury

When Sweezey noticed his speaker was missing, he believed it was Yang who had taken it, suggested prosecutor Todd Buziak.

Security camera video played in court Tuesday by Buziak shows Sweezey using two hands to shove Yang, who fell to the ground and hit his head.

The elderly man suffered a head injury and underwent surgery in hospital. He died two months later.

Defence lawyer Telmo Dos Santos is expected to argue his client's actions did not cause Yang's death.

Court of King's Bench Justice Glenda Campbell will hear from the Crown's only witness, the medical examiner, on Thursday.