Trial begins for Yukon man accused of axe attack on romantic rival – North

The incident happened in April 2015 in Burwash Landing, a small community of about 100 people. (Google Maps)

A jury trial is underway in Whitehorse this week for a Burwash Landing man accused of attacking a romantic rival with an axe, threatening to kill him, and then smashing up his foe’s car with the axe.

The charges against 59-year-old Douglas Twiss Sr. — including assault with a weapon, uttering death threats and mischief over $5,000 — stem from a confrontation at Twiss’s house in April 2015.

According to Crown prosecutors, Twiss and Gerard Desjardins had known each other since 2008. By 2015, they were both involved with the same woman, prompting Twiss to seek a resolution.

Yukon Territorial Court heard Monday that Desjardin went to Twiss’s house on April 8, 2015, and their discussion became heated.

According to prosecutors, Twiss threatened to get his pistol, and threw putty knives at Desjardins. He also threatened to slit Desjardins’s throat.

Desjardins testified that he then walked towards his car, prompting Twiss to grab an axe and follow, swinging the tool “back and forth over his shoulders, [in] a fluid motion.” 

“I see that that last swing was going to hit me in the head,” Desjardins testified. “I took a step back and put my right hand up in front of my face.”

Hit in the hand

Desjardins said the axe hit him in the hand. He later got four stitches at the Destruction Bay health centre.

Desjardins said after being hit he ran to the other side of his car, “hoping I didn’t get an axe in the back.”

He testified that Twiss then took the axe to Desjardins’s car, causing almost $6,800 in damage.

Desjardins then left and reported to police. An RCMP officer took pictures of Desjardins’ wounded and bandaged hand, and his damaged car.

The officer later got in touch with Twiss, and Twiss turned himself in at the Whitehorse RCMP detachment a few days after the incident.

The trial before Justice Stephen Kelleher…

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