Brian Volker was intent on two things the chilly morning he shot his estranged wife to death, the Crown prosecutor theorized in his opening address to a jury on Tuesday.
Anders Quist told the Red Deer Court of Queen trial that Brian Volker wanted to kill his wife out of revenge and then kill himself.
Quist laid out his theory in a 10-minute talk to the jurors, who begin hearing evidence today in the four-week trial.
Volker, 50, of Delburne is charged with first-degree murder in the death of his wife Debi, 44. First-degree murder carries a mandatory life sentence with no eligibility for parole for 25 years.
Volker is also charged with breaking and entering and committing an offence, using a firearm to commit an offence, a single count of breaching conditions of a release from custody and three counts of failing to comply with previous court orders.
The accused, who remains in custody, was charged on Feb. 23, 2009, after the victim was found shot dead in her Delburne townhome.
Justice Doreen Sulyma cautioned the jury in her opening instructions that nothing has been proven yet.
“What the Crown says is not evidence nor is it proof of anything. It’s only what he intends to prove,” Sulyma said.
She said an opening statement by defence lawyer Patty MacNaughton is also not evidence.
MacNaughton declined to make an opening statement but can still do so if she intends to call evidence.
Quist said the murder, which occurred around 3 a.m., was planned and deliberate.
He said the accused broke four terms of a court-imposed recognizance, including not coming within 50 metres of Debi’s house, a 10 p.m. to 7 a.m. curfew and possessing a gun.
Quist said Brian Volker wanted revenge because his wife and three children had left him a few months earlier.
Quist said the accused broke into the victim’s house while packing a long gun that had the barrel and part of the stock sawed off.
The jury heard the accused went to Debi’s bedroom and the sound woke up the youngest son, who was 16 at the time.
There was a struggle on Debi’s bed, Quist said.
The 16-year-old tried to protect his mother but was shoved out of the room by the accused, Quist said.
Debi told the youth “Get your brother and sister and call the police. Get out,” Quist said.
Quist said the 16-year-old clearly saw his father.
The youth then heard a single gunshot, Quist said.
Debi died from a single shot to the head, Quist added.
The prosecutor said the accused fled to his farm, where he was found by police face down in snow.
On his kitchen table was a suicide note and a document laying out his affairs, Quist said.
The gun wasn’t found but parts of the stock and barrel were located at the farm of the accused.