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Wassill murder trial: Accused killer’s defence tough to swallow

In Courtroom 35 at the Provincial Court-house on Elgin Street, Carson Morin is on trial for first degree murder in connection with the death of Orléans resident Michael Wassill on May 15, 2013.

Wassill was helping out a female friend who also happened to be a friend and associate of Morin’s. The young woman worked at an east end strip bar and had been living with Morin who fancied himself as her “pimp”.

The young woman had moved out of Morin’s place and taken refuge in Wassill’s Fernleaf Crescent home several days before he was killed.

On the morning in question, Morin drove to Wassill’s home, pushed/stumbled his way inside and slit Morin’s throat in with a box-cutter knife during the ensuing scuffle. It should be noted that Wassill was unarmed. That it is an important point when you realize that Morin claims he killed Wassill in self defence.

I will try to give you a Cole’s Notes version of Morin’s testimony during three on the stand. His defence is based on his fear of being roughed up by several bad dudes who had been driving by his Maranger Street condo on an almost daily basis and general harassing him.

The men were known to Morin and vice versa.

The female friend, who I alluded to earlier, was also Morin’s “business partner” and roommate. By partner, I mean she danced in the strip bar by night and sold drugs by day, all the while giving Morin half of her earnings which he used to pay help pay for the rent, utilities, groceries, costumes for her job, and a stripper pole to practice on.

In May 2015, the young woman had enough with the arrangement and moved into Wassill’s place.

Despite the fact that she no longer lived with Morin, and despite the fact that she had severed ties with the man, he still felt entitled to half of her earnings from the night of May 14, mainly because he was $100 short on his rent whch he owed his landlord on May 15.

Despite fearing for his safety, Morin decided to drive to Wassill’s place on
May 15 to get his money from the young woman and end their “business arrangement”.

Here is where things get a little squirrelly. Despite the fact that there were no cars in Wassill’s driveway, and more to the point, no cars resembling the ones used by the men Morin testified had been intimidating him, he took a box-cutter from the car console and placed it in the pocket of his hoody for “protection.”

He also took a pair of blue latex utility gloves – the ones most people use to clean with – out and put them on because, in his words, they gave him the confidence he needed to knock on Wassill’s door.

He even compared it to the Adam Sandler movie Big Daddy in which one of the characters wore sunglasses because they made him feel more confident.
You can’t make this stuff up. Or perhaps you can.

Having put on the blue latex gloves, Morin, now brimming with renewed con-fidence, knocked on Wassill’s front door to get the attention of the young woman who he could see sitting on the stairs inside. He couldn’t see anyone else until Wassill opened the door and asked what he was doing there.

Morin claims Wassill raised his arm. Not knowing what would come next, Morin says he pushed Wassill backwards with such force – if his testimony is to be believed – that the momentum carried both of them inside the front foyer. He did this while remaining flat-footed.

Once inside the two men scuffled, which is when Morin reached into his pocket pulled out the box-cutter and swung wildly, slitting Wassill’s throat.

If you’re a bit skeptical you’re not alone. During Morin’s testimony two things kept going through my mind. The first thing is that Wassill died over a measly 100 bucks. And the second was that if Morin was so fearful for his personal safety, why didn’t he just borrow the $100 from one of his many “girlfriends”.

Without a doubt the most chilling statement Morin made during his time on the stand was that he was “on trial” for his “life”. He is only partly correct. If he is found guilty of first degree murder, he could be sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for 25 years. If the jury finds him guilty of the lesser charge of second degree murder he could be sentenced to 10-15 years and eligible for parole in three to six years, having already been incarcerated for four years.

Wassill has no chance of parole. His life ended needlessly on that day in May in 2013.

The trial continues.

(If you wish to comment on this or any other View Point column please write to Fred Sherwin at fsherwin@magma.ca)

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