Captors threatened to kill family, kidnapping victim tells court





Graham McMynn, depicted in this artist’s sketch, testifies in B.C. Supreme Court during his kidnapping trial yesterday.


« He had a gun on my head. ... I believe he was chambering the bullet. »

In a closet, with his hands bound and his eyes taped shut, a man held a handgun to Graham McMynn’s head and threatened to kill him, his girlfriend and his family if he ever spoke to anyone about his abduction.

The trial of five men who are accused of kidnapping the University of B.C. student near his wealthy parent’s Southlands home in April 2006 began yesterday in B.C. Supreme Court.

"He had a gun on my head," said McMynn, the Crown’s first witness in a trial that is anticipated to last four months. "I believe he was chambering the bullet."

The kidnapper, who had a "high-pitched voice," threatened McMynn, telling him the police would not be able to protect him forever and that if he ever spoke his family would be killed. The kidnapper told McMynn it would be "messy."

"(I told him,) I just wanted to get on with my life. Don’t do anything to me."

Any thoughts of escape evaporated with the threat, McMynn said.

At one point, he testified, he was in a bathroom that had a door that led outside. He said he didn’t try to run out of fear that he or his family would be harmed.

Five men, José Hernandez, Anh The Nguyen, Joshua Ponicappo, Sam Tuan Vu and Van Van Vu were charged yesterday with kidnapping and unlawfully confining McMynn.

McMynn, then 23, was rescued April 12, unharmed from a house in the 14600 block of 76th Avenue in Surrey during a number of concurrent raids on homes in Surrey, East Vancouver and Nanaimo.

Yesterday McMynn testified how he was driving his girlfriend to UBC on April 4, 2006 when a car cut him off, blocking his way while two men forced him from the car at gunpoint.

His girlfriend, Jaclyn Tran, was stripped of her cellphone and left standing at the side of the road, Crown prosecutor Richard Cairns told the court in his opening statement.

Tran, however, memorized the car’s licence plate number and called 9-1-1 after flagging down a passing motorist.

McMynn, meanwhile, was transferred into a van and was made to lie down in the back.

He was brought to a house and was thrown into a walk-in closet and told to strip. "They said it was because they were going to rape me, and they laughed about it."