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Crown and defence question stabbing victim’s friend in Day 2 of Cromwell trial

Marc Bernard Tremblay’s friend details victim’s final hours

2 min read
caption The 16-day murder trial is being held in courtroom 304 of the Nova Scotia Supreme Court
Sam Fraser

The Crown called a friend of victim Marc Bernard Tremblay to the stand Wednesday in the second-degree murder trial of Aidan David Cromwell.

Robert MacDonald was living in the same Fairview neighbourhood as Tremblay, 25, the night he died.

MacDonald’s testimony took place at the Nova Scotia Supreme Court in Halifax. During his line of questioning, Crown attorney Rick Woodburn asked MacDonald to tell the jury the events leading up to and including the Feb. 2, 2012, stabbing.

The 37-year-old sheet metal worker said Tremblay showed up at his Dutch Village Road apartment that night at what he believed to be 9 p.m. at the earliest. Tremblay had been drinking and was slightly intoxicated. He also had several cans of beer and malt liquor with him.

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MacDonald said they spent one to two hours playing video games, as Tremblay drank more. They eventually left the apartment to buy energy drinks at a nearby Esso. MacDonald said he planned to walk Tremblay — now considerably more drunk — back home.

While walking, the two men saw a young couple in the distance arguing.

MacDonald said Tremblay changed direction and began “lumbering” towards the couple. Tremblay called out to them, saying they “sucked” and the couple were going home because they “sucked too much.”

As Tremblay pursued the couple, MacDonald said he called for him to come back.

MacDonald told the jury the man being taunted produced a knife from his backpack, announcing he “didn’t have time for this shit,” before approaching Tremblay. Running at him, he made a lunging jab, described by MacDonald as a “Superman punch,” as he stabbed Tremblay in the centre of his chest.

Tremblay proceeded to curse at his assailant and shove him away before the couple ran off. He started to give chase, but collapsed after MacDonald caught up to him on the corner of Ashdale Avenue and Titus Street. MacDonald then called 911. He described Tremblay as “bleeding like crazy.”

The Crown showed the jury security camera footage from in and around MacDonald’s apartment that showed the two men leaving the building, as MacDonald described. A second camera captured what appeared to be the stabbing incident in the distance. As the video played, MacDonald pointed out the assailant and for the first time referred to him as Aidan Cromwell.

During cross-examination, defence attorney David Bright questioned MacDonald about the timeline of events. He said in MacDonald’s statements to police he claimed Tremblay had arrived at his apartment at around 10:30 p.m, instead of 9 p.m.

Bright pointed out that Tremblay gave his first statement to police at 11:40 p.m. after the stabbing. This contradicted MacDonald’s claim that he and Tremblay had been at his apartment for between one and two hours. This also suggested that Tremblay had to consume the alcohol he’d brought much quicker, and may have been more intoxicated than MacDonald had the jury believe.

MacDonald’s cross-examination is set to continue Thursday.

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