Buddy takes 'stand' against kick

The cross examination of Buddy Tavares continued today as defence council Neville McDougall spent the first portion of the morning testing Tavares’s memory of the previous days testimony, including whether or not he had eaten breakfast at home or at a restaurant on the morning of Jan. 7, 2011

“I’m not in the habit of lying, especially in a court of law,” said Tavares from the stand. “You’re asking me to remember things from two years ago.”

At this point, crown counsel Will Burrows also wondered aloud about the line of questioning, pointing out that defence was asking Tavares to take a memory test from what he had said the day before.

McDougall then wished to clarify more testimony made by Tavares about whether or not he walked or drove his truck from the maintenance shop to the fairway to scare geese on the morning of Jan. 7.

“I don’t recall if I walked or drove. I suffered a brain injury at the feet of Geoff Mantler,” answered Tavares as his voice began to rise.

“I had a second brain injury, as diagnosed by my doctor, compliments of Geoff Mantler. Sorry if I can’t remember.”

Defence council then switched gears and peppered Tavares with questions about why he was at the golf club that day when he was no longer employed, and dissected testimony relating to how often Tavares had shot at geese between the time of his motorcycle accident on Aug. 8, 2010 and the police incident on Jan. 7 2011.

Tavares again turned defensive, saying “why don’t we call Trudy (his estranged wife who also worked at the Harvest Golf Club) in, she wasn’t kicked in the head.”

The line of questioning then turned back to events leading up to and including the traffic stop conducted by Cst. Geoff Mantler, as McDougall asked about commands made to Tavares during the arrest as he read from testimony recorded later that day at the Kelowna detachment.

McDougall found that Tavares’s testimony that day was different than testimony given so far during trial. Previously, Tavares had stated he was on his hands and knees before Mantler kicked him, but video evidence shows Tavares did not quite make it to the ground before the kick. There was also no mention of Mantler’s supposedly shaky hands during the arrest, however, during redirect examination, his statements were clarified to say that Mantler looked as if he had drank too many energy drinks and looked to be “agitated, from a major sugar rush”. Tavares also testified that he had seen the Castanet.net video of the assault prior to giving one of his statements and he was having difficulty distinguishing between what he saw at the time of the arrest and what he saw on tape.

Defense council also brought forward police statements made by other witnesses at the golf club on the morning of Jan. 6, which said Tavares was angry after receiving paperwork from Trudy asking for child support earlier that day

“Yes I had read the package and yes I was mad at my lawyer,” said Tavares.

McDougall then suggested that Tavares had made threatening comments at the golf club with respect to Trudy, to which Tavares denied.

Defence also suggested that when Tavares was exiting his vehicle during the traffic stop, he had said, “B*tch should have killed me,” to which Tavares quickly denied.

“I remember being told to get on the ground. That’s what I remember,” he said.

Also according to a statement by Tavares to police on Jan. 7, he said he was “angry as hell” about the papers he received in the mail and that he would “go kill a couple geese and feel better about it.”

Defence then brought up the fact that since the motorcycle accident, Tavares had received paycheques until Dec. 6 when his disability benefits kicked in and after that he was no longer employed by the golf course to shoot geese and had no business there on the day in question and no reason to have his shotgun.

At this point, Tavares questioned whether he was on trial and disagreed with McDougall that he had gone outside that day to “vent.”

When defence suggested Tavares was angry and wanted to shoot his gun off to send a message to Trudy, he replied that he could shoot a gun anywhere and that if he was venting, it would be more enjoyable to take his handgun to the range.

Further testimony continues this afternoon (Tuesday Nov. ).

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