Verdict to come Friday in cocaine trial

Crown and defence present arguments in Nicholas Gaetz, Christopher Hill trial

Justice Felix Cacchione will deliver a verdict of guilty or not guilty Friday in Nova Scotia Supreme Court in Halifax.   Trent Erickson

On Thursday in the trial of Nicholas Daniel Gaetz and Christopher Hill, the Crown and defence were at odds over whether there is enough evidence to convict.

The two men face drug possession and trafficking-related charges in Nova Scotia Supreme Court in Halifax.

The main argument concerns the presence of 265 grams of cocaine in a bag found in the trunk of a car and police testimony of an incriminating exchange. 

The GoodLife bag was in the trunk of a Honda Civic that was pulled over by police on Quinpool Road on Nov. 14, 2016. Hill was driving Gaetz and three others were passengers.

In addition to the cocaine, police found 12 MDMA tablets, 5 ½ Xanax tablets and a digital scale in the bag.

Three Halifax Regional Police officers testified Wednesday that they overheard an underage occupant of the car tell Gaetz something similar to “just tell them it’s yours. You’re going to ruin my life.”

The court heard from the witnesses that Gaetz responded and repeated multiple times, “nobody talks and everybody walks.”

Based on that conversation, the Crown is arguing the GoodLife bag belonged to Gaetz. Crown Attorney Jeff Moors alleges Hill acted as the “wheelman” for Gaetz and both men knew about the drugs.

Gaetz’s lawyer, Brian Warcop, and Hill’s lawyer, Trevor McGuigan, both argued that the defendants’ being in the car doesn’t mean they knew about the bag or what was in it.

Warcop also argued that Gaetz’s saying “nobody talks and everybody walks” doesn’t suggest he owned the bag and its contents.

“The statement is merely indicating what one should do when they’re arrested,” said Warcop in his closing statement. “The same as a lawyer would tell their client.”

In his closing statement, McGuigan said “there are many things in this case that have not been proven, that the court does not know, that open up these other reasonable inferences.”

Justice Felix Cacchione is scheduled to deliver his verdict Friday at 1 p.m.