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Shooting victim says chain of events started with a pawned diamond ring

Jayme Carlson (Bellerose) was shot by a man wearing a skeleton mask, but it is another man who is on trial right now
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Police tape is pictured in front of a home on Wellington Street East on the morning of Thursday, Oct. 23, 2014 in this file photo. Michael Purvis/SooToday

The victim of a shooting nearly three years ago conceded Tuesday that his own actions had ignited a chain of events that resulted in the confrontation where he was wounded.

Jayme Carlson was shot a dozen times with a .22 calibre handgun in an Oct. 22, 2014 incident, which the court heard occurred in Sault Ste. Marie's subculture of drug use and violent crime.

The 31-year-old man was testifying at the trial of Michael Bjornaa, one of two local men charged in connection with the shooting.

Bjornaa pleaded not guilty to 10 charges stemming from two events that occurred at two downtown residences that day.

The charges include break and enter to commit the indictable offence of assault with a weapon, forcible confinement, using a firearm (a handgun) while committing an indictable offence, attempt murder with a handgun, discharge a handgun with the intent to wound or maim, unlawfully entering a dwelling with an intent to commit an indictable offence, using a firearm while committing the offence of being unlawfully in a dwelling, wounding Carlson, administering a noxious substance with intent, and possession of a firearm while prohibited.

Assistant Crown attorney Dana Peterson said no one is suggesting Bjornaa held the handgun in the shooting of Carlson.

But the Crown's position is that in some of the offences the accused was clearly a principle in the firearm charges involving Daved Nadon, the prosecutor said.

Nadon pleaded guilty a year ago to eight charges, including attempted murder with a firearm.

He was sentenced to a 10-year penitentiary term for shooting Carlson (also known as Bellerose).

Superior Court Justice Ian McMillan heard there was a history between the three men involving violent theft and disrespecting each other, and Nadon's mother Berni Nadon was known as a user and dealer of drugs in the Sault.

Carlson testified his life was "all over the place," that he was either stealing or dealing drugs, in October 2014, to support his habit.

"I was just running wild pretty much," he told Petereson.

He said he knew the Nadons through the drug subculture and drug houses in the city and Bjornaa from the streets for six or seven years, and prior to the altercation had no problem with him.

Everything started with a diamond ring, Carlson said he pawned with Berni Nadon for $200 in September 2014, so he could purchase drugs.

In the middle of October, he said he spoke with the woman about getting the ring back, but she indicated she didn't have it.

He testified that he was upset with Berni, went to her Albert Street residence to confront her and when he found her asleep, he began searching the place for the ring.

Carlson said as he was leaving with $60 in cash and scratch tickets, Daved Nadon and Bjornaa arrived and there was "an exchange of words," where Nadon asked if he was stealing from his mother and he explained he was looking for the ring and took some stuff.

He told the court he was at a house at the corner of John and Bloor streets when the two men showed up half an hour later and he was punched by Bjornaa as he opened the door.

Carlson said he was armed with a knife because when he looked out the window he saw Nadon had a baseball bat.

They were asking where Berni's drugs were, Carlson said, indicating he told them he hadn't taken any drugs.

The heated exchange, outside the residence, ended when a cop drove by and the men went their separate ways, he said.

Carlson said two or three days later he heard of "word on the street" that Nadon was going to shoot him and he went to an Albert Street address to confront Daved, where he picked a lock with a switchblade to get inside.

Daved came at him with a bat, said Carlson, who indicated Nadon was upset and denying his accusations.

The shooting occurred four or five days later when Nadon, Bjornaa and a third man showed up at a Wellington Street residence on Oct. 22. 

Carlson said he was in a bedroom and had a knife in his hand, when he saw Bjornaa, who had pepper spray, outside the room.

He then spotted a man in a skeleton mask with a handgun, who started firing at him.

"I slammed the door shut, a couple of shots came through the door. I was hit in the stomach and the back," he testified.

Someone kicked the door in, and Carlson said the man's mask had come off, and he could see it was Nadon who was shooting him.

A couple more shots were fired and he fell down, then Bjornaa entered the room and tried to pepper spray him, but "it didn't get in my face," he said.

The court heard Carlson underwent surgery at Sault Area Hospital, before being transferred to Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto where it was found he had 12 gunshot wounds.

Nerve damage from a bullet that entered his lower back has affected his left foot.

"I still have a bullet somewhere in my spine.  I don't know exactly where," he said.

Carlson indicated he has a lengthy criminal record, that includes armed robbery and break and enters.

He said he was addicted to drugs and alcohol "off and on since he was 14," but hasn't been using since the shooting.

During cross-examination by defence lawyer Don Orazietti, he agreed that he had a serious drug problem at the time of the incident and was selling drugs to support his habit.

When Orazietti asked if he was prepared to acknowledge he had played a large part in provoking the incident, Carlson responded "I'm sure some of my actions may have contributed (to it)." 

The lawyer pointed to the testimony of a young woman at the preliminary hearing, who said that Carlson had a crow bar or a tire iron with him when he came into Berni's home and that he was yelling that he needed to get money and drugs as he tried to wake Berni up.

Carlson said he doesn't remember having a tire iron, but admitted he was trespassing, had invaded the home and stole money from Daved Nadon's mother.

"This incident ignited the whole chain of events," Orazietti suggested.

"Yes," Carlson said.

The trial continues today.

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