A Laval man has testified that he was scared of the man he is accused of hitting and killing with his car in an apparent case of road rage in December 2010.
Jeffrey Lindor, 28, has taken the stand in his own defence at his second degree murder trial.
George De Castro, 42, died of his injuries after being hit by a motorist on December 9, 2010 in the Rosemont-la Petite Patrie borough of Montreal.
Lindor, 26 at the time, testified that he and De Castro cut each other off as he was looking for parking and that afterwards, De Castro followed him for about 10 minutes before the two motorists stopped at an intersection. Lindor testified that he felt scared because De Castro was following him then waiting for him at one corner before they double-parked their cars.
"I was thinking, 'Why is he there?', 'What does he want from me?'," Lindor testified.
Lindor, wearing a dark sweater, tie and grey pants, was calm as he testified that after they got out of their cars, De Castro pushed him first, and a shoving match followed, with Lindor telling De Castro, "What's going on?" and "Get back to your car."
Part of the crown's evidence is a surveillance video from an apartment building at the intersection of Laurier and 18th Avenue. The video presented in court shows two men pushing each other after getting out of their cars, one man getting into a white car and driving in reverse with the other man chasing him. The white car is shown stopping, then advancing and hitting the man before taking off. The police patroller at the time testified Lindor returned to the scene about ten minutes later and told him he was the one who hit De Castro.
Upon cross examination, Lindor testified he stopped his vehicle and went to get something from his trunk to defend himself, but then didn't, because he wanted to reason with De Castro.
"I'm not a violent guy. I didn't want it to escalate, I didn't want to provoke him," Lindor testified.
Crown prosecutor Anne Aubé suggested that by the time De Castro got out of his car, Lindor didn't have time to get anything out of his trunk. A photo shown to the ten men and two women of the jury showed several objects in Lindor's trunk, including a baseball bat.
Lindor described De Castro as a rather large, imposing, very aggressive man who scared him but the crown pointed out that when he spoke to police, he told them he "didn't remember his face" and that "it was an old guy."
Also during cross examination, the crown asked why Lindor didn't think to slow down and let De Castro pass, make a detour to get away from him or call 9-1-1 on his cellphone. Lindor testified he was too scared and panicked.
Defence lawyer Clemente Monterosso is arguing that it was all an accident. Closing arguments before Judge Réjean Paul begin next week.