Trial unfolds into Irving murder

Opening statements from trial where Joelon Verma is charged with first degree murder in death of Brittney Irving

  • Sep. 15, 2013 12:00 p.m.

The murder trial into Brittney Irving's death is underway.

Cheryl Wierda

For The Morning Star

Brittney Irving, who was raised in the North Okanagan, was scrambling to collect marijuana to fill a drug order the day she was shot four times, allegedly by the man who she was dating and assembling the order with, Crown counsel submitted during their opening statement in the Joelon Verma murder trial Tuesday.

Irving, who was “stressed” about paying legal fees stemming from her arrest for growing marijuana in March 2010, allegedly contacted Verma by text about needing to make more money and was putting together a large pot deal with Verma on April 6, 2010, said Crown counsel Mallory Treddenick.

That day, she collected 50 pounds of marijuana—worth an estimated $100,000—and, according to text messages, was supposed to meet with Verma, said Treddenick.

The Crown says the last time Irving’s phone was used was at 1:53 p.m. that day, when she wrote a text, allegedly to Verma, saying “On route babe. See you in 10.”

Treddenick also alleged that Verma called his cousin Jason Labonte during that time frame to help him after he got a truck stuck in the mud.

The truck — owned by another man — was missing a green plaid jacket and men’s running shoes. When Irving’s body was found — with two gunshot wounds to the back, one to the side and one to the pelvis — she was wearing a men’s green plaid jacket and men’s shoes, the Crown alleges.

Irving’s body was found by a police service dog in the woods off McCulloch Forest Service Road, testified Const. Tim Russell.

The 25-year-old’s body was found not far from where Labonte — who went with officers to the McCulloch Road area — said he helped Verma pull out a truck.

Verma is charged with first degree murder in the death of Irving.  The trial is expected to last six to seven weeks.

 

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