Attacker reached as if weapon: Victim's friend recounts assault Accused `wanted a fight,' trial told

Attacker reached as if for weapon: Victim’s friend recounts assault Accused `wanted
a fight,’ trial told

PETER EDWARDS
STAFF REPORTER

Former child actor Tyson Talbot appeared to be reaching into his pocket for a weapon during a late-night confrontation in which he beat another man to death, court has been told.

“It looked like he was trying to grab something from his pocket,” Trevor Mitchell, 23, testified yesterday in the second-degree murder trial of Talbot, 32.

Mitchell’s close friend, Christopher Shelton, 23, was fatally attacked outside a restaurant at Gerrard St. E. and Broadview Ave. around 3:30 a.m. on Nov. 30, 2002.

“You didn’t see a weapon?” defence lawyer Sid Freeman asked.

“Correct,” Mitchell replied.

As a child in the early 1980s, Talbot played the role of athlete Billy Martin on the TV show The Kids of Degrassi Street. When that series grew into Degrassi Junior High in the mid-1980s, Talbot played the character Jason Cox but left after three episodes.

In an often testy cross-examination, Freeman suggested that Mitchell exaggerated his story because he felt guilty that he may have caused the confrontation to escalate.

Mitchell vigorously denied the suggestion.

“The only kind of guilt I feel is that it was him (Shelton) and not me,” Mitchell said.

“The guy (Shelton) was a model, for God’s sakes. He never got into trouble.”

Freeman repeatedly suggested that Mitchell was trying to evade police when he attempted to hail a cab as his friend lay injured on the pavement.

Mitchell also strongly refuted that suggestion.

“I acted on my instinct,” Mitchell said. “Getting him out of there and into a hospital.”

Later, Mitchell added, “I have a full-time job and I have a family. I have no problems with police.”

Mitchell said Talbot punched his friend in the face when Shelton wasn’t looking, then stomped on his face.

Shelton was pronounced dead in St. Michael’s Hospital at 5 p.m. that day.

“What I seen is what he did: a sucker punch and a stomp to the head and my friend is dead,” Mitchell said.

Mitchell said he didn’t realize there was a serious problem with Talbot after he and his friends chatted briefly with two women who accompanied Talbot to the restaurant.

“We weren’t being rowdy,” Mitchell said.

“The last thing you want to do when you come out of a restaurant at 3 in the morning is fight. You’re full. You’re tired, and I had to work in the morning.”

He said he’s baffled about why his friend was killed.

“Maybe he (Talbot) had a bad day. Maybe he’s a bad person. Maybe he just likes picking fights with innocent people.”

When he left the restaurant, Mitchell said it was clear that Talbot wanted a confrontation, and told them, “What are you going to do now? My boys are here.’ … When he confronted us, Miss Freeman, he absolutely wanted a fight.”

The trial continues today.

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