Court charged with emotion

Rosie Mullaley
Published on October 4, 2011
Accused murderer Trevor Pardy is helped out of the courtroom by sheriff’s officers following his first appearance at provincial court in St. John’s Monday afternoon. Pardy is charged with first-degree murder in the fatal shooting of Triffie Wadman, who had been his girlfriend. — Photo by Rosie Gillingham/The Telegram

Trevor Pardy hung his head and wiped tears from his eyes as he sat in the prisoner’s dock.

Just feet away in the public gallery in Courtroom No. 7 at provincial court in St. John’s, family members of the woman he’s accused of killing wept openly.

One woman’s sobs could be heard throughout the courtroom. She clutched a framed picture of her sister, Triffie Wadman, to her chest, as her father comforted her.

It was Pardy’s first court appearance since he was arrested early Saturday morning following the fatal shooting and a four-hour armed standoff with police.

The case was first called in court Sunday afternoon, but Pardy participated in proceedings via teleconference from a St. John’s hospital emergency room, where he was taken after his arrest.

The 34-year-old Mount Pearl man faces a charge of first-degree murder in the death of  Wadman, 30, who had been his girlfriend.

Monday’s court appearance was brief and Pardy said nothing as lawyers discussed the case with Judge Joseph Woodrow.

Duty counsel Jane Fitzpatrick and Crown prosecutor Phil LeFeuvre agreed to postpone the case until Oct. 19 for a status update.

LeFeuvre also filed a no-contact order, forbidding Pardy to have contact with a list of people, including members of Wadman’s family.

When proceedings concluded, it took several minutes before Pardy emerged from the courtroom past waiting reporters.

When he did, he appeared weak and had to be physically supported by two sheriff’s officers.

Members of Wadman’s family left quickly following proceedings, while Pardy’s family declined comment when approached by The Telegram.

Many of them were clearly still in shock at the weekend’s incident.

Witnesses called the RNC at around 1 a.m. Saturday morning, reporting a woman was lying in the street on Boggy Hall Place in the Topsail Road area of Forbes Street.

Neighbours reported hearing gunshots during a physical altercation.

Wadman — a native of Freshwater, Placentia Bay, who lived in St. John’s — was transported to hospital, where she was treated for gunshot wounds.

She later died from her injuries.

The four-hour standoff with Pardy ended at around 5:30 a.m.

Several homes in the immediate area were evacuated during that time in the interest of public safety.

A firearm believed to have been used in the shooting was recovered by RNC officers.

A forensic examination of the scene was completed after Pardy was taken into custody.

Police gave further details of the incident to reporters during a news conference Monday afternoon.

RNC Const. Suzanne FitzGerald said when officers arrived at the scene, they found the woman lying in the street. She had been shot. She said officers then dragged her behind a police cruiser.

“All RNC officers are trained in first aid,” FitzGerald said. “The ambulance was en route. They provided preliminary medical attention just before paramedics arrived on scene.”

After the woman was rushed to hospital, officers were left to deal with a “delicate and critical” scene.

From the time police arrived to the point when Pardy was arrested, no shots were fired.

“RNC officers had control of the situation, had the area contained upon their arrival and containment was established immediately,” FitzGerald said.

Police closed off Topsail Road from Columbus Drive to Colville Place (just before the West End Baptist Church), with Forbes Street and Hazelwood Crescent also watched.

The police removed a vehicle from the scene that they have said is owned by Pardy.

FitzGerald also confirmed that while the scene was closed off as far as Colville Place during the standoff, the area closed for a search for forensic evidence was extended as far as Road de Luxe. This extension was intentional and the result of investigation at the scene, she said.

An RNC crisis negotiator was communicating with Pardy by a cellphone during the standoff.

“When the tactics and rescue unit, in their own positioning, created an opportunity to approach the armed man, they took that opportunity and apprehended him without incident and without injury,” FitzGerald said.

“The crisis negotiators worked very closely with the tactics and rescue unit and the incident commander to create an opportunity to forcibly take him down, but he was arrested and apprehended without injury.”

Pardy was taken to hospital. FitzGerald reiterated he had not been injured during his arrest.

“That was simply a pre-existing medical condition that the RNC believed he should seek medical attention for,” she said.

According to Pardy’s legal aid lawyer, who was with him at about 4 p.m. Saturday at the hospital, he was having “suicidal inclinations” at that time.

Pardy was released from hospital Monday afternoon and immediately taken into police custody and then to court.