Witness recalls death of husband and friend at Chipman, Alta., double murder trial

·2 min read

The widow of one of two men killed in a central Alberta village in April 2017 says a dispute with their neighbours ended in bloodshed.

Misti Sutton's neighbour — Ray Nickerson, 39 — pleaded not guilty this week to two counts of second-degree murder in the shooting deaths of Terry Sutton, 39, and Jason Williams, 40, in Chipman, Alta.

Sutton, 38, told the courtroom, prior the deadly shooting, her neighbours shot BB guns at her house and the families hated each other.

On April 2, 2017, Sutton said she was drinking in her garage with her husband and Williams to celebrate her birthday.

The men were lighting firecrackers. As she returned from the washroom, Sutton said she felt hot.

"It felt like I'd been shot in the back with something ... and it almost felt like a rock," Sutton said. "I don't know what it was, but it hurt."

As the men inspected the red mark on her back, Sutton said she spotted Tina Williams standing in the doorway where she lived across the street with Nickerson and they yelled at each other.

Sutton said she crossed the street, with her husband in tow, to confront Williams. She noticed Nickerson had a shotgun and tried to get her husband to leave, but Williams pulled her inside the house and pulled out her hair as they fought on the floor.

"All I remember after that point was I heard loud bangs, and that's basically what stopped the fight between me and Tina because it was very loud," Sutton said.

Sutton told court she saw Williams first, laying at the bottom of the stairs and bleeding from his head. She then saw her husband, she said, bleeding from his abdomen.

Sutton said Nickerson told Williams to get a towel to hold up against her husband's stomach. On a loudspeaker, RCMP directed Nickerson and Williams to walk out the back door.

A paramedic examining Terry Sutton said he found a pulse.

"I told my kids that he had a pulse, so he had a chance," Sutton, the mother of four children between 15 and 1 at the time, testified through tears.

"And then I went back out on my deck and I saw nobody with him. And so I yelled, asking why nobody was with him. And that's when an officer came up to my fence and told me that he was gone. So I had to go back and tell my kids that their dad is dead."

The jury trial continues on Thursday when Sutton will be cross-examined.