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Victim's widow testifies in Roebuck's murder trial

On Thursday morning, Crown Prosecutor Joe Mercier called three witnesses to the stand to testify in the ongoing murder trial for Airdrie resident Michael Antony Roebuck.
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Airdrie resident Michael Roebuck, accused in the fatal shooting of Daniel Mcdonald in September 2019, is set to return to court on Dec. 17.

Editor's note: This story contains graphic details. Readers' discretion is advised.

Daniel Macdonald's widow said she knew "instantly" after her husband was killed who had pulled the trigger. 

In the ongoing murder trial for Airdrie resident Michael Antony Roebuck, Carolyn Macdonald testified today that she was in her backyard on Sept. 7, 2019 when she heard two gunshots and her husband scream. She raced outside to find her husband lying in a pool of blood on their driveway. 

"I ran through the house and saw Dan lying face down on the driveway," Carolyn told the Court, adding she could see an exit wound on Macdonald's back. "I ran to him. I was kneeling by his head [and] trying to feel a pulse."

Roebuck, now 61, is accused of first-degree murder in the death of Macdonald, who was killed by gunshot on Sept. 7, 2019 in front of his home on Canoe Close SW, in the Canals District of Airdrie. 

During the first day of the trial on Oct. 11, the Crown argued its theory that Roebuck shot MacDonald twice on their street with a shotgun after the two fought earlier at a nearby gas station. The Crown's theory is the altercation stemmed from a failed business relationship between the two. 

On Thursday morning, Crown Prosecutor Joe Mercier called three witnesses to the stand, including MacDonald's widow Carolyn MacDonald, who was married to MacDonald for 25 years before his death. He also called on Roebuck's ex-girlfriend Katrin Marohn. 

During her testimony, Carolyn said her late husband's relationship with Roebuck, who lived across the street, was initially positive. According to Carolyn, Roebuck and her husband became good friends after meeting in 2016. 

"He and Dan struck up a bit of a friendship," Carolyn told the Court. "Mr. Roebuck would come over and visit almost daily, usually while I was at work."

Carolyn added she and Roebuck's ex-girlfriend Marohn were also friendly, and the neighbours would frequently walk their dogs together.  

But, Carolyn noted, her husband's relationship with Roebuck soured in the spring of 2019, after Roebuck had started a marijuana grow-op in his residence and requested Macdonald to partner with him. 

"I believe Mr. Roebuck asked [my husband] if he wanted to help," she said. "He asked Dan if he'd prepare the marijuana for sale. I don't know much about that."

Carolyn said Roebuck eventually accused Macdonald of owing him money, and he began to intimidate and threaten her when she went for walks with her dog.

As a result of those threats, Carolyn said she started to avoid the side of the street that Roebuck lived on. Meanwhile, her husband started closing the garage door when working on their vehicles to avoid any exchanges with Roebuck. The two discussed installing a security system. 

On Sept. 7, 2019, Macdonald went out to buy gas, according to Carolyn, and it turned out to be the last time she saw him alive. She said she later heard the two gunshots that killed her husband, as well as his scream. 

Carolyn said she immediately looked toward Roebuck's house after discovering her husband's body on their driveway. 

Ex-girlfriend called to the stand

Roebuck's ex-girlfriend also testified on Thursday morning. Marohn said she has lived on Canoe Close since 2015, and said she dated Roebuck "on-and-off" for two-and-a-half years, but severed her relationship in the late spring of 2019.

"[Roebuck] progressively got bad and drank a lot," Marohn said to the Court. "He was in pain all the time. He lost his job because of health issues. He got very irritated at one point."

Marohn reiterated Carolyn's comments about Roebuck and Macdonald initially being good friends, but that their friendship eroded over a failed business venture. She added Roebuck was adamant that Macdonald owed him $30,000, and would yell at the Macdonalds whenever he and they crossed paths in the neighbourhood.

"They had a business together, growing some weed," Marohn recalled. "They both had a license to have whatever amount of weed and it went sour."

After hearing Roebuck wish ill will toward Macdonald during a conversation with her, Marohn said she broke up with him the following day.

"He wanted to hire someone to hurt him," she recalled. 

"[Roebuck] said, 'He has to pay.' I don't know what for. He always said he owed him money. What money? I don't know how he came up with that number [of] $30,000."

Marohn also confirmed Roebuck owned firearms and that she had seen them personally, but added she hadn't seen a shotgun – the weapon used in the murder – in his possession.

Roebuck's two-week judge-alone trial began on Oct. 11 and is scheduled to last for two weeks. The trial was originally supposed to be held last November, but was delayed after a breakdown in the client-lawyer relationship between Roebuck and his defense attorney, Kim Ross, which led to Ross stepping down as Roebuck's counsel. Roebuck is now being represented by Krysia Przepiorka.

Court of King's Bench Justice Michele Hollins is hearing the case.

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