Calling the accused’s testimony “glib,” Crown prosecutor Jason Snider told a jury on Tuesday that they must find Dustin Aaron Clark guilty of a bank robbery that took place last year.
In his closing arguments, Snider said when Clark was asked what he was doing on the afternoon of Sept. 23, 2013, Clark was “glib and flippant.”
“Certainly not robbing a TD Bank,” said Clark on the stand on Monday when questioned as to what he was doing on the day of the robbery.
Closing arguments in the two-week trial were heard on Tuesday in Red Deer Court of Queen’s Bench. Clark, 36, of Red Deer is charged with armed robbery with violence, assault with a weapon, possession of a dangerous weapon, wearing a disguise to commit an offence, mischief and theft under $5,000.
Defence counsel Norman Clair called the Crown’s case circumstantial and said that there was no single witness who could provide direct evidence implicating Clark. He said no witnesses were able to identify Clark as the perpetrator, mostly because no one got a good look at the robber.
The robber entered the Village Mall TD Canada Trust bank on Red Deer’s north hill and sprayed bear spray around as he committed the offence. Because of the nature of bear spray — to incapacitate people who inhale it — no one was able to get a good look at the robber.
Clair also pointed to earlier testimony saying Clark had gone into an older model Mustang, driven by another man, after attempting to collect a drug debt on the morning of the robbery. That was the same car witnesses described seeing the robber get out of prior to robbing the bank.
Clark had testified that he was driven to the motel to collect the drug debt by his girlfriend in a Honda Civic.
Clair said the driver of the Mustang, who the Crown alleges was the getaway driver for the robbery, has not been produced as a witness and questioned why someone who would know the identity was not called in.
Snider countered in his closing argument that the man would be a discreditable witness and was not called for several reasons.
Snider acknowledged the case against Clark was circumstantial, except for a key piece of evidence: a right thumb print found on the trigger of the canister of bear spray.
While no witness from the scene was able to positively identify Clark as the robber, he said witness descriptions of the robber match those of Clark. Snider also pointed to the house where the robber took refuge during the chase that ensued after the robbery.
Snider said the robber fled the scene and came upon a resident and asked to be hidden, saying people were chasing him. The robber went into the basement and was there for a while. The resident testified he had about 10 minutes to get a good look at the robber. Clair pointed out the resident did not identify the robber as Clark.
However, Snider said the bear spray canister with Clark’s thumb print on it was found in the residence under some cushions and the resident said he did not have any bear spray.
Snider also told the jury that they must not consider Clark’s record as a reason to convict him, but instead to use it as a tool to evaluate Clark’s reliability as a witness.
Justice Monica Bast then told the jury she would give them instructions on Wednesday, when the trial resumes, on how to proceed with reaching a verdict.