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Double-murder trial opens with Crown saying slayings were intentional, not self-defence

'What they were met with was sheer horror,' Crown says of Barrie police officers arriving at the William Street scene

Marijuana emerged as a dominant theme to open the trial of a Barrie man accused of killing his mom’s former boyfriend and the man's son in their Allandale apartment four years ago.

Dyrrin Daley, 28, is being tried for first- and second-degree murder in the 2017 killing of 19-year-old Nickolas Pasowisty and his father, 51-year-old James Pasowisty. 

The father and son were found dead in their William Street apartment after police received two 911 calls from inside the second-floor duplex on Feb. 8, 2017.

“By the end of the trial, the evidence will show that Daley committed the second-degree murder of James. He meant to kill him, and he undoubtedly succeeded,” Crown attorney Kristin Smyth told the court in her opening statement Tuesday. 

“The evidence will also show that Daley is guilty of the first-degree murder of Nickolas Pasowisty. He intended to kill him and in doing so, forcibly confined him," Smyth added. 

She said the Crown will prove Daley’s claim of self-defence to be false.

Upon reviewing the evidence she and colleague Ray Williams intend to present in the trial, Smyth said police were alerted to 54 William St., early on Feb. 8, 2017, through two 911 calls where only silence was heard on the line.

Police are expected to testify that as they approached the house, which had been converted into apartments, they spotted an open door on the upper balcony where they could see blood on the walls with the help of a light from the police cruiser.

“What they were met with was sheer horror,” Smyth told the court, adding police found the two bodies and blood all over the apartment.

During a canvass of the area, a neighbour showed investigators a photo of a suspicious vehicle in the area 10 days earlier.

Police tracked the vehicle to 11 Marcus St., where Smyth said police will testify seeing blood on the driveway and up the front steps. They found Daley alone inside where he was arrested.

The evidence is expected to show that in two statements to police Daley admitted to the killing, claiming he was attacked and he stabbed them in self-defence, Smyth told the court.

“By the end of this trial, the Crown will have met its onus to disprove self-defence,” she said.

Smyth said James Pasowisty was selling Daley marijuana and there was a dispute over owed money.

Cannabis was the reason Nickolas’ mom, Rose Beaton, left James, the court heard.

Beaton, the Crown’s first witness, described James as smart and caring. They met when she already had a daughter and together they had Nickolas.

“The problem is he’s a pot smoker,” Beaton told the court.

As an adult, James was diagnosed with fetal alcohol syndrome and couldn’t work, so he relied on disability support and supplemented that stipend with marijuana sales.

James smoked cannabis regularly and would be sick if he didn’t smoke it, Beaton said. She said that’s not the life she wanted for her son, so they split up, although they remained friends.

While working at the Honda plant in Alliston as a night-shift cleaner, Beaton met Vicky, Daley’s mom, and they became good friends. Vicky then met James and they moved in together, although they remained a couple for only about six months, Beaton said.

Nickolas had lived with his mother, but decided as a teenager, while attending Barrie Central Collegiate, to live with his dad in the William Street apartment, which Beaton described as a bachelor pad.

Kevin Alvarenga described Nickolas as his best friend, even though they were about five years apart in age.

“He was very good at picking up girls,” he said, explaining they met at an all-ages club. “He was my wing man.”

Mostly, Alvarenga testified, they’d chill in Nickolas’ room on William Street, listening to music, playing video games, smoking cannabis and drinking alcohol.

Alvarenga said he’d often go there after finishing work as a cement finisher, sometimes crashing on the couch in Nickolas’ room and figured they saw each other every second day.

They were together the night before the Pasowistys’ deaths. Alvarenga called for a cab at about 9:30 p.m., after not hearing back from his brother, who would sometimes drive him. Alvarenga said he saw nothing extraordinary that February night and neither James nor Nickolas acted differently.

Later that night, “He messaged me on Facebook and said: ‘Thanks for the sesh’,” Alvarenga said.

James usually sat in his chair in front of the television with a bag of marijuana next to him, which he would divide into smaller bags, “frequently” selling to Alvarenga and others, he told the court.

Alvarenga testified he saw no other drugs there. 

When asked by defence lawyer James Harbic, under cross-examination, if James was a heavy drinker, Alvarenga replied: “Oh ya.” 

Sometimes James would mumble things to himself and “sounded demonic,” Alvarenga said.

Alvarenga also agreed with Harbic that the father and son would have disputes when Nickolas would be kicked out and he’d go stay with his sister or another friend.

The Crown is expected to call Alvarenga’s brother to the witness stand Wednesday, followed by the 911 dispatcher and the police officers who responded to the 911 call.

The trial is scheduled to continue into June.

About the Author: Marg. Bruineman

Marg. Bruineman is an award-winning journalist who focuses on justice issues and human interest stories
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