Brian Volker was angry and bitter when he discussed his estranged wife Debi Volker with a friend a few weeks before her death.
Steve Pisko, a lifelong friend of the man on trial for first-degree murder, told a Red Deer Court of Queen’s Bench jury on Tuesday that Brian Volker came over for supper one evening about mid-January 2009, but didn’t stay after talking about his marital situation.
“That day he was quite bitter toward her (Debi),” said Pisko, who said he has known Brian Volker since Grade 1. Their rural homes are near each other.
“He (Volker) commented that if there was a divorce, there would be nothing left.
“He was very mad at her,” said Pisko, who also worked with Volker at a cattle trucking company.
Pisko told Crown prosecutor Anders Quist that shortly after the November 2008 Volker marital split, Brian Volker was optimistic about patching up his marriage.
Pisko said that Volker indicated he wanted to get back with his 44-year-old wife.
Volker, 50, is charged with first-degree murder, breaking and entering and committing an offence, using a firearm to commit an offence and four counts of breaching conditions of a release from custody.
Debi Volker’s body was discovered in her Delburne residence on Feb. 23, 2009. She had been shot once in the head.
The Crown wants to prove the accused sought revenge because his wife and three children left him in November 2008.
Pisko said sometime in mid-January, he was taking care of Volker’s farm.
He said he remembers locking up Volker’s pickup, which had two rifles in it, including a .22-calibre rifle. He also said he locked up some of Volker’s other firearms in a gun locker in the house.
Pisko testified that on Feb. 22, 2009, Brian Volker stopped him outside his vehicle.
“He came over and he seemed happy, like the old Brian.
“He was all cleaned up and had new clothes on,” Pisko said.
“He told me he was going around visiting and saying hello to everybody,” Pisko said.
The Crown’s theory is that the accused first planned to kill his wife then commit suicide.
A suicide note and other documents laying out his affairs were found on Volker’s kitchen table by police following the shooting.
Volker, who has worn a blue shirt and blue jeans for the trial, rarely glances around and sits expressionless for the vast majority of his time in the prisoner docket.
The Crown closed the Crown’s case following Pisko’s testimony.
Defence lawyer Patty MacNaughton said she intends to call a forensic toxicologist to open her case today.