LONDON, Ont. - A man accused in the deaths of eight people with biker gang ties had a message for his co-accused just hours before the bodies were found stuffed in abandoned vehicles - "If we kill one, we kill them all" - court heard Thursday.
The eight dead men, found in a farmer's field in Shedden, Ont., on April 8, 2006, were all linked to the Toronto chapter of the Bandidos.
Five of the accused men were allegedly members of, or associated with, the Winnipeg faction of the Bandidos. The sixth, Wayne Kellestine, was allegedly a member of the Toronto chapter but was not getting along with his fellow Toronto Bandidos.
Court heard testimony from an ex-Bandido turned informant, known as M.H., about rising tensions between the Toronto chapter and the Winnipeg group, which only had probationary status with the biker gang.
He testified Thursday that the night before the men's bodies were found they were invited to Kellestine's farmhouse, near Shedden, for a meeting, and that the accused men spent the hours before they arrived stockpiling, assembling and cleaning a cache of weapons.
Kellestine told them, "If we kill one, we kill them all," and nobody questioned it, M.H. said.
Kellestine, Dwight Mushey, Michael Sandham, Brett Gardiner, Marcelo Aravena and Frank Mather each face eight counts of first-degree murder and have pleaded not guilty.
After the eight men and Kellestine were assembled in the barn, and Sandham was hiding in the barn's loft and M.H. and Mushey were hiding around back holding guns, M.H. said he heard what sounded like shots being fired and Kellestine telling everyone to "get on the floor" and not to move.
"First thing I hear is pop, pop, pop," M.H. told court. "A loud bang. Another bang. A few more pops."
As M.H. entered the barn he saw Kellestine holding what looked like a .22 rifle, Sandham in the loft holding a .303 rifle and all but two of the eight men lying face down on the floor, he said. Victim Luis Raposo was sitting on the floor with his left arm on a couch, with blood on him and the floor, M.H. said.
"It looked like he had a wound in his neck and one in his chest," he said.
It wasn't until half an hour later that he saw Michael Trotta, another victim, when Trotta stood up, M.H. said.
His chronological testimony ended at that point Thursday and was to continue Friday.
In the hours before the men from Toronto were set to arrive at Kellestine's he had rounded up weapons kept all over his house and the men were assembling and cleaning them, M.H. said.
He also testified he saw Sandham putting on a bulletproof vest and that he and most of the accused put on two pairs of gloves - their personal winter or driving gloves over rubber surgical-like gloves.
Court heard earlier this week that Sandham had met with Bandido officials from the U.S. and got orders that Winnipeg would become a full chapter and Toronto would be stripped of its Bandido affiliation.
M.H. also testified that people from Toronto were plotting to kill Sandham.
Court was shown photographs and video Thursday and earlier this week that were taken inside Kellestine's farmhouse and inside the barn.
They show an extremely cluttered garage, barn and living quarters. In the garage was also a flag with a swastika on it and in his house was a Confederate flag, which on video he calls "the most beautiful flag in the world."