In the Crown’s summation to the jury in the murder trial of Steven Neville Thursday, prosecutor Jason House said the evidence presented during the 10-week trial fully shows that Neville intended to kill Ryan Dwyer and Doug Flynn the night of their confrontation on a Paradise street eight years ago.
Flynn died from injuries inflicted by a knife, while Dwyer was stabbed a number of times and survived.
House said an ongoing feud between Neville and Dwyer and Flynn had reached the limit for Neville.
“He was fed up. He had enough,” House said. “He wasn’t going to take it anymore.”
House pointed to various parts of the evidence the Crown called during the trial that he said proves the case. This included text messages and witness testimony.
House said that on the evening of Oct. 8, 2010 leading to the early morning hours of Oct. 9, Neville was angry after being informed by a friend of Facebook posts that he interpreted as threats against his mother.
He said that’s when Neville became angry and came up with a plan to kill Dwyer and Flynn.
Neville, now 27, is being tried in Newfoundland and Labrador Supreme Court in St. John’s on charges of second-degree murder in the death of Flynn, who was 19 in 2010, as well as the attempted murder of Dwyer during an altercation on Carlisle Drive in Paradise that night in October 2010. Both Flynn and Dwyer were stabbed multiple times with a knife.
This is Neville’s second time on trial for murdering Flynn and attempting to murder Dwyer. A jury originally convicted him of second-degree murder in 2013, but the conviction was overturned by the Supreme Court of Canada two years later. The court found there were problems with the trial judge's instructions to the jury, and ordered a new trial for Neville.
House told the jury Thursday that Neville had been in a car with four other friends that night and when he saw Dwyer and Flynn running after the car, he got out of the vehicle before it came to a stop to confront them and put his plan into action.
He referred the jury to text messages Neville had sent to a friend in the hours prior to the altercation, saying, “This is it, they're dead, dead, dead. I'm stabbing them until they are squirting blood.”
House said there was no evidence that Dwyer or Flynn brought the knife to the fight. He said the wounds suffered by Dwyer and Flynn were indicative of defensive wounds.
“When Steven Neville got out of that car, he got out with a plan to stab Ryan Dwyer and Doug Flynn,” House said. “Ryan Dwyer said when he turned to flee, Steven Neville stabbed him in the back.”
House noted photographs of the wounds corroborate Dwyer’s evidence.
Flynn died of stab wounds to the head, in particular one blow to the temple, House noted.
“I submit he intended to kill him,” House said. “(Neville) knew the consequences of his actions.”
During defence lawyer Bob Buckingham’s address to the jury earlier this week, he said Neville acted in self-defence, having been the subject of a "terror campaign" by Flynn and Dwyer in the weeks prior to the stabbings.
Buckingham told the jury that Flynn and Dwyer had terrorized Neville in person, on social media and via cellphone, using weapons such as brass knuckles and nunchuks, chasing him in vehicles and posting threats to break into his house and assault his mother.
He also asked the jury not to believe the testimony of Dwyer, who in October 2010 was “conniving, immature and manipulative” and who terrorized Neville “over $65 he owed his brother in 2010.”
House told the jury Neville had other options to deal with Dwyer and Flynn. He said he could have called the police, or on the night of the incident could have remained in the car with his four friends.
Instead, he said, Neville was angry and took matters into his own hands and put his plan to kill Dwyer and Flynn into action.
Following the Crown’s summation, Justice Robert Stack on Thursday began his charge to the jury. He is expected to conclude Friday and send the jury out to begin deliberations.