Fall likely broke skull, trial told: Ex-Degrassi actor charged in death

Fall likely broke skull, trial told
Ex-Degrassi actor charged in death Pathologist details victim’s injuries

PETER EDWARDS
STAFF REPORTER

A Toronto man lay motionless on the pavement outside a restaurant suffering from a fractured skull and massive brain injuries when former child actor Tyson Talbot stomped on his face, a jury heard yesterday.

Forensic pathologist Dr. David Chiasson was questioned at length about the fatal head injuries Christopher Shelton, 23, suffered after he was attacked outside a restaurant at the intersection of Gerrard St. E. and Broadview Ave. shortly after 3:30 a.m. on Nov. 30, 2002.

Some members of Shelton’s family dropped their heads and dabbed tears from their eyes as Chiasson detailed how Shelton suffered extensive bruising of the scalp, subdural bleeding of the brain, brain-stem bleeding and a fractured skull.

Talbot, charged with second-degree murder, showed little emotion.

The 32-year-old played the role of child athlete Billy Martin in the early 1980s on the popular TV show The Kids of Degrassi Street. That series evolved into Degrassi Junior High in 1986, and Talbot returned to play another character, Jason Cox, but left the show after three episodes.

Shelton’s facial bruising included tread marks from a shoe, but his skull was likely already cracked when the back of his head struck the pavement after he was punched in the face, Chiasson said.

However, the stomp to the head may have extended a crack in his skull, the doctor testified.

“It looks like a single impact,” Chiasson said. “I can’t exclude another blow to that area overlying it.”

The jury heard yesterday how the trauma from the fall to the pavement caused bleeding and swelling to Talbot’s brain.

Darryl Sharpe, a friend of Shelton, testified Monday that Talbot “sucker-punched” Shelton, who wasn’t able to raise his hand to protect his face or cushion his fall to the pavement.

Two crown witnesses have testified Talbot kicked Shelton in the head less than a minute after the alleged sucker-punch.

He was pronounced dead in St. Michael’s Hospital later that day.

Shelton’s brain injuries “can be explained by the initial impact (to) the left back of the head. … They’re all attributable to the blunt force head injury,” Chiasson said.

The trial continues in Ontario Superior Court.

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