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Sparks and Ritch stabbed Nadia Gonzales, jury hears

Key Crown witness says Calvin Joel Maynard Sparks planned to kill Gonzales

2 min read
caption Day 5 of the trial of Calvin Sparks and Samanda Ritch continued at the Nova Scotia Supreme Court.
Abigail Trevino

The key Crown witness in an ongoing murder trial pointed to Calvin Joel Maynard Sparks in court on Friday when asked who killed Nadia Gonzales.

Sparks, 26, and Samanda Rose Ritch, 22, are charged with first-degree murder of Gonzales. Both have pleaded not guilty.

John Patterson continued his testimony on Friday in front of jurors and Justice Christa Brothers in Nova Scotia Supreme Court. The 72-year-old said that on the evening of June 15, 2017, he met with Sparks and Ritch at friend Wayne Bruce’s apartment at 33 Hastings Drive in Dartmouth.

He said once in the apartment, Sparks told him about plans to “chop her [Gonzales] up and put her in a garbage bag.” Patterson said the entire conversation took less than five minutes, then Sparks gave him some crack cocaine.

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Patterson spent the last two days of the trial describing Gonzales’ last day — June 16, 2017. On Thursday, he said he spent the day driving around with Gonzales delivering crack to clients. On Friday, he said he smoked “a puff” of crack early in the morning on June 16. Patterson said at around 5:30 p.m, he, Gonzales and a friend named Mike went to visit his friend Wayne Bruce.

Patterson said Gonzales knocked on Bruce’s door, then Sparks rushed out of the apartment, closing the door behind him, and hit Gonzales in the head. She fell to the floor, Patterson said, and Sparks cut her repeatedly with a knife. Patterson said he heard a squeak come from Gonzales before she fell silent.

The apartment door reopened, and Ritch appeared with another knife, Patterson said. He told the jury he saw her kneel on the floor to stab Gonzales.

Patterson testified he grabbed Sparks in an attempt to stop him, and blacked out. When he came to, he was bleeding. He said Sparks helped him up, smiled at him, and then returned to stabbing Gonzales.

Patterson had some difficulty in recalling the exact details, saying his glasses were knocked off his face. The Crown showed photos to the jury of Patterson’s glasses on the hallway floor outside Bruce’s apartment.

Patterson said he then made his way out of the building, knocking on the doors of other apartments for help as he went, but no one answered.

Earlier in the trial, the jury heard that Patterson was stabbed six times and suffered a broken arm. Gonzales’ body was found by a paramedic in a black hockey bag in the hallway outside Bruce’s apartment. The Hammonds Plains mother of two was stabbed 37 times.

The trial resumes in Nova Scotia Supreme Court in Halifax on Tuesday with Patterson’s cross-examination by the defence.

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Abigail Trevino

Abigail is a fourth year journalism student at the University of King's College. She is also the publisher of The Watch, the university's campus...

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