The items of drug paraphernalia in a downtown apartment were unmistakable.
A glass pipe used to smoke crack cocaine.
Steel wool used inside the pipe as a filter, as well as to scour the pipe of residue that could be smoked again.
A rubber tube placed on the end of the smoking end so the user didn’t burn his fingers.
A digital scale used to verify the quantity purchased from drug dealers who would wonder in to supply the party, day and night, while the money lasted.
One by one, defence lawyer Shelton Tate asked witness David Laboucane to confirm drug materials photographed by RCMP, who responded to a shooting inside the Seymour Street apartment.
While there is no disputing the apartment was a crack shack, the question remains whether Brandon Schell, 29, was the drug enforcer known as “Cheddar” who shot Arthur Burley Nov. 5 last year.
Tate continued to cross-examine Laboucane Friday morning, casting doubts whether anyone in the apartment in the early morning hours could identify Brandon Schell as Cheddar.
Burley testified earlier this week. The 61-year-old was shot through the shoulder after he challenged Cheddar and another drug seller, “Trey.” Prosecutor Don Mann said the pair demanded people in the apartment buy drugs exclusively from them.
“If we didn’t, they’d come and beat the shit out of us,” Laboucane told police in a statement.
Neither Laboucane nor Burley were able to identify Schell as one of the men in the apartment that night. An RCMP member was expected to testify that some people in the apartment identified Schell in a photographic lineup.
But that evidence was given in a voire dire — trial within a trial — to determine whether it is admissible.
Further complicating the Crown’s case is the fact that one of the drug users in the apartment that night died this week of an apparent overdose.
A bench warrant was issued Tuesday for another witness who failed to appear in court. But the warrant for Emil Tralnberg was withdrawn after prosecutor Don Mann said he was never personally served with a subpoena. Authorities don’t know where he is living.