Court heard from a man who said he witnessed a fight that led to Lindey Sugar’s death on the second day of Frances Sugar’s second-degree murder trial.
Dennis Kissling said he befriended Lindey while volunteering at the Friendship Inn on 20th Street.
He said he, his girlfriend and Lindey went to his home for a barbecue on June 23, 2014.
He said Frances, who was Lindey’s mother, also came along with her boyfriend — a man referred to as Horse.
Kissling testified everyone seemed to have a good time at the barbecue.
He said Lindey came up with the idea to package up some food for her spouse and take it to her at work.
Kissling said they got into Lindey’s car, bringing along at least one two-litre cooler.
He said he then had to run back into his house to grab his cigarettes.
He said he came out to see Lindey sitting in the driver’s seat, arguing with Horse through the open window.
Kissling told court he saw Horse punch Lindey and then take off on foot.
In the car, Kissling said Lindey and Frances began arguing as Lindey drove, with Lindey saying she wanted her cut of money from seling Ritalin pills.
Kissling said he heard Frances say she owed rent at her home in Calgary and needed the cash.
Kissling said Lindey began accusing Frances of driving she and her siblings out of town when they were young, beating them, and then leaving them to walk back on their own.
Kissling said Lindey then threatened to do the same to Frances.
Frances asked to get out of the car three times, according to Kissling.
He said each time, Lindey slowed down as if to let her out then sped up again, preventing her from leaving.
Kissling said Lindey drove them south out of Saskatoon, stopping near the intersection of Clarence Avenue and Victor Road.
He said Lindey got out of the car and hauled Frances out of the backseat.
Kissling said he stayed in the front seat and watched through the passenger side mirror as the two began scuffling near the back of the car.
He told court he didn’t want to butt into what he described as “a family affair.”
He said he only got out of the vehicle when he saw Frances make three stabbing motions at Lindey’s neck, then saw Lindey fall into the ditch at the side of the road.
Once out of the vehicle, Kissling said he heard Frances say: ‘if you want to fight with the big boys, you go down like the big boys’ before she started walking away from the scene.
Kathy Hodgson-Smith, Frances Sugar’s defence lawyer, then got her turn to question Kissling.
She asked him how he was able to see the altercation in the front passenger mirror when, according to testimony heard Monday, the owners of a nearby home who came upon the scene found the back passenger door open, which would have blocked the mirror.
Kissling said the couple must have been mistaken, suggesting police may have opened the door when they were taking pictures for their investigation and insisting it was closed at the time of the alleged fight.
Frances’ lawyer suggested Kissling didn’t, in fact, watch the fight in the mirror.
Rather, she proposed Kissling got out almost immediately to help Lindey and that he was the one who opened the back passenger door.
Hodgson-Smith then suggested Kissling never actually saw the stabbing motions he testified about.
Rather, Hodgson-Smith put it to Kissling that he only witnessed Lindey grabbing her throat and falling into the ditch.
She also suggested Kissling wasn’t being accurate when he testified Lindey and Frances were standing as they fought.
Instead, Hodgson-Smith implied the pair actually rolled around on the ground for some time.
Kissling denied all of this, replying “you’re wrong” to each of Hodgson-Smith ‘s assertions about what might have happened.
Court sees, hears video of Frances Sugar’s arrest
The next witness for the Crown was Const. Sam Talic of the Saskatoon Police Service.
He told court he and his partner responded to the call of a woman in a ditch with stab wounds to her neck shortly before 8 p.m. the night Lindey Sugar died.
Talic testified that as they sped south towards the scene with their sirens blaring, they came upon a woman walking along the side of the road, making her way north. He testified they pulled over and told the woman to stop.
Talic said he noticed blood on the woman’s hands when she raised them.
Court was shown video taken from the dash cam in Talic’s patrol car.
It showed them pulling up to a woman and telling her to raise her hands.
From there, the action moved off screen towards the back of the squad car but Talic’s microphone continued recording audio.
On the recording, Talic’s partner could be heard giving instructions and searching the suspect.
Talic was heard asking her name, to which she answered: “Fran Sugar.”
Talic was later heard on the radio describing Frances as being intoxicated.
Under questioning from Crown prosecutor Melodi Kujawa, Talic said he could smell liquor on Frances’ breath and although she seemed lucid and wasn’t slurring, there was a delay in her response to questions.
Under cross-examination from Hodgson-Smith, Talic said Frances had blood all over her hands when he picked her up.
He said she also had dried blood under her nose and that her clothes were covered in dirt.
The trial is set to continue Wednesday morning at Saskatoon Court of Queen’s Bench.