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Building superintendent recalls night of Nadia Gonzales’ death

Jury hears more testimony about the night Gonzales was found in June 2017

2 min read
caption Calvin Sparks and Samanda Ritch's trial continued in courtroom 304, Monday.
Dominique Amit

The superintendent of a Dartmouth apartment building testified Monday about what he saw the night Nadia Gonzales died.

Ivan Simmonds has been the superintendent of 33 Hastings Drive for six years. He recalled seeing three people enter the building on the night of June 16, 2017.

Simmonds was called as a witness for the Crown in the jury trial of Calvin Joel (CJ) Maynard Sparks and Samanda Rose Ritch. Sparks 26, and Ritch 22, are accused of murdering Gonzales, 35, and attempting to murder John Patterson, 72.

Gonzales was found stabbed inside a hockey bag in the stairwell of 33 Hastings Drive. Patterson was found injured outside the building.

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Simmonds said he was outside drinking beer with Henry Armstrong, a tenant, when three people arrived. An older man, a young man and a woman buzzed to be let into apartment 16 and were let into the building.

He said he saw the young man leave the building about 10 minutes later. Then a tenant came and told him to go up to apartment 16, as there had been a commotion that was audible in the apartment below.

Simmonds said he went up to apartment 16. He noticed there was a large amount of blood on the floor in front of the apartment. He knocked on the door and Wayne Bruce answered. Simmonds showed Bruce the blood. Bruce did not let Simmonds enter the apartment.

The jury also heard from Armstrong who lived in the apartment building at the time. Armstrong testified that he was outside at the front of the building when a man with gashes in his stomach area came running up, yelling to call an ambulance. Armstrong said he called 911 after he saw the man collapse near the school across the street.

When Armstrong was asked whether he recalled saying to the police that he had seen three individuals enter the building earlier that same evening, he said no.

The Crown also called Det. Const. Jason Joncas of Halifax Regional Police to the stand.

Joncas testified that he was familiar with Gonzales at the time of her death. He said that after attending to the scene, he began looking for a man known to be an associate of hers. Joncas said he was told that the man and two others had been arrested and he was then tasked with processing the vehicle the men had been in.

Joncas said the next morning, he was told to search for a silver Honda Accord and that the men were released without charges later that day.

The trial, presided over by Justice Christa Brothers, is scheduled to last 19 days in Nova Scotia Supreme Court. It began Nov. 6.

Both Sparks and Ritch have pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder and attempted murder.

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About the author

Dominique Amit

Dominique Amit is a journalism student at the University of King's College. She hails from Stellarton, Nova Scotia. She's interested in politics...

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