January 23rd, 2018 by

Witnesses testify about party and events prior to Aaron Rushlow’s death

Outside of the Quinte Consolidated Courthouse, in Belleville. (Photo: David Foot / Quinte News)

Day two of Shelby Zielski-Thibault’s manslaughter trial included five witnesses, four of which were at a party she attended, before the incident that killed Aaron Rushlow on Walmsley Place, on October 23rd 2016.

All four of those witnesses admitted people were drinking and smoking pot at the party in Trenton, and all said they saw Zielski-Thibault and Rushlow there, but none remembered any animosity or problems between the two that night.

A few witnesses said they saw Zielski-Thibault smoking marijuana, which was corroborated by photos shown in court on day one of the trial, Monday.

Darryl Adams testified that Zielski-Thibault drove him home from the party and that Rushlow had been driving in front of them, along Dundas Street, but says he doesn’t remember any “interactions” between the vehicles or drivers.

That’s contrary to what Zielski-Thibault told police, in her initial statement, that Rushlow had been racing with them and giving her the finger out the window of his BMW.

The fifth and final witness of the day was Collin Veley who says he was living with Zielski-Thibault and her family at the time of the incident and had been drinking that night, but wasn’t at the party.

He says Zielski-Thibault called him during that evening and told him Rushlow was “upset about him being in her house”, but “didn’t recall her saying anything else about him being upset”.

Cell phone records show Zielski-Thibault also called him just after midnight, on October 23rd and he says “she was crying and told me to wake up one of her parents and come get her at Centennial Secondary School”.

Veley woke up Zielski-Thibault’s father Gord and they went to pick her up.

In the school parking lot, Veley told court, Gord moved the Equinox from a bus lane, into a parking spot and Zielski-Thibault got into the passenger seat, but was crying hysterically, so she didn’t explain what happened.

He says he got into the bed of the truck and they they went back to their house on Linton Park.

Veley had originally testified he didn’t remember hearing anything about the incident on Walmsley Place itself, but after a two hour recess to review a police interview he gave on January 12th, told court he did overhear some details of Zielski-Thibault’s conversation with her mom.

He says in the 30 minutes or so before police arrived, he heard her mention ” something about pulling her hair extensions”, that Rushlow “had a hold of the window, or his arm was in it” and that she “panicked and put the car in drive or reverse”, but he didn’t know which one.

Veley testified that when police arrived they went inside to talk to Zielski-Thibault and doesn’t recall the officers telling her anything about Rushlow’s injuries.

Among the evidence accepted Tuesday were police occurrence reports, related to Rushlow’s past behavioral issues, but Justice Geoffrey Griffin said he was only accepting reports that relate to the defence’s theory that Zielski-Thibault was confronted by Rushlow.

Those records were sealed and won’t be presented in open court.

Crown Adam Zegouras says he plans to call five or six more witnesses Wednesday, including two civilians and a few police officers and told Justice Griffin he could have his case fully presented by days end.

Proceedings are slated to continue through Thursday and pick up again on Monday.

You can click here to read the day one recap of the trial.