Accused murderers appear in Alberta court

Both men have criminal history in N.L. 67 prior convictions for one of them

Published on January 4, 2012

Accused murderers Paul Raymond Gill, 44, and William John Tubrett, 47, made their first appearance in Edmonton provincial court Tuesday morning.

Based on criminal records obtained by The Telegram, Tuesday's court room appearance was not a first-time event for the men, both of whom are originally from Newfoundland and Labrador.

Gill and Tubrett are charged with second-degree murder in the death of 35-year-old Jamie Vickers of Witless Bay. His body was found Saturday in a home all three men were living in, according to Edmonton Police Services (EPS) spokeswoman Lisa Sobchyshyn.

From 1982 to 2010, Tubrett was convicted of 67 charges based on those registered at provincial court in St. John's, ranging from breaches of probation to assault causing bodily harm and break and enter. Gill has been convicted of six charges between 1984 and 2010.

Though police have not released the name of the victim, a family member has since confirmed his identity to media.

"He was a good young fella," said Ken Vickers of his deceased cousin Jamie. He said Jamie had worked outside the province for a number of years before returning last year.

Family of murdered man devastated

He worked in Newfoundland and Labrador over the summer and left for Alberta three weeks ago. Jamie was building a home for himself in Witless Bay that he was in the process of completing prior to his death.

"That's why he was going to Alberta - to make some money to put the next step on the house," said Ken Vickers.

He said Jamie's family is devastated by the news of his death.

Sobchyshyn said Tubrett and Gill's last known addresses before moving to Edmonton were in St. John's and Springdale respectively.

However, a relative of Tubrett contacted by The Telegram Tuesday confirmed he is originally from Grand Falls-Windsor.

Other family members contacted Tuesday declined to comment on Tubrett's predicament. An aunt of the man said, "It's a touchy situation for the family."

A woman who answered the phone at a Gill residence in Springdale asked The Telegram not to call the number again. Her parting words spoke to the obvious pain being felt by people who know the accused men.

"Don't you realize that we're hurting?" she asked.

Past convictions

Tubrett was first convicted of assault in 1982, receiving a $250 fine and 12 months probation. He was convicted of five break-and-enter charges over the next year, one of which gave him his first jail sentence - 45 days - in March 1982.

An assault charge on Christmas Day in 1983 landed Tubrett a 12-month concurrent sentence, and less than two years later he was sentenced to two years in prison for a break and enter. He was convicted of the same charge in July 1988 and received a 30-month sentence.

In 1995, Tubrett was convicted for assault and breach of probation. He was sentenced to three months in jail and given two years probation.

Following six conviction-free years, Tubrett once again found himself in trouble for probation breaches and a theft charge, landing him a sentence of more than 100 days.

In September 2002, he received a one-year concurrent jail sentence for assault with a weapon and a pair of one-month consecutive sentences for uttering threats and breaching a probation order.

Living in St. John's by 2004, Tubrett faced multiple assault charges. The following March, he was sentenced to 11 months in prison. A story published at the time by The Telegram said he pleaded guilty to assaulting two female friends while intoxicated.

Since then, Tubrett's most serious brush with the law came in 2010 while living in Grand Falls-Windsor. Tubrett was convicted of charges of theft, break and enter and making false documents. He was sentenced to 14 months in jail.

Gill's most serious conviction came in November 2010 when he was sentenced to five months in jail for breaking and entering. According to his criminal record, Gill has also resided in King's Point.

The suspects have been remanded in custody and are scheduled to return to court Thursday.

An autopsy was scheduled for Tuesday afternoon. Sobchyshyn said it will take at least a day to obtain results, depending on whether further work is necessary.

arobinson@thetelegram.com Twitter: TeleAndrew