Drug house fight erupted over racial slur, court told

'Fred said he'd been to Merritt and knew where to get weed'

One of three men charged in a suspected home invasion in Merritt testified Thursday a fight erupted in the home when a local drug dealer refused to sell to his friend.

Andrew Owusu, 23, said he was unemployed in October 2010 and living in Coquitlam when he agreed to go with two friends to Kamloops for temporary work in the bush.

The Toronto man, who said he is a recording artist, testified he'd "never seen mountains before" and the Interior landscape was brand new as they drove east.

"We all wanted to smoke some weed. Fred said he'd been to Merritt and knew where to get weed."

Owusu, Fred Agbefe and Agazzy Haddish are all charged with unlawfully being in a home, use of an imitation firearm, unlawful confinement and assault.

Haddish is also charged with dangerous operation of a motor vehicle and flight from police from events the same day.

The Crown alleges the three invaded the home of Rayella Parr, one of them brandishing a gun and another with a Taser. Another one of the three, she testified, tried twice to tie her with zap straps.

But Owusu denied each of those allegations, saying a fight erupted when Parr refused to sell marijuana to his friend.

He was outside the Houston Street home with Agazzy when the pair heard muffled shouting from inside.

Once inside, he saw Agbefe shouting and pushing Parr, with the woman yelling racial slurs. Owusu said Agbefe was angrily yelling back.

The three left the house when Parr's dog appeared. She continued to scream at them, he said.

The Merritt woman called RCMP.

Owusu said he assumed the three were still heading north toward Kamloops after they left Parr's home. In fact, Agazzy, piloted the minivan back toward Vancouver on the Coquihalla highway as police were in pursuit.

"We're just suddenly going at a really high speed, really high," Owusu told the 12-person jury in B.C. Supreme Court.

"I'm saying (to Agazzy) 'chill, slow down.' Fred's telling him to calm down. He's doing his own thing."

Eventually the van headed the wrong way down the Coquihalla Highway, near Hope, smashing head-on into a wall of RCMP cruisers.

The trial is scheduled to continue Friday.

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