Emotional eyewitness testimony at London murder trial

The last two Crown witnesses at a murder trial in London have described what they saw when a well-known fitness instructor died in the city’s town centre.

Mathew Riley testified he was out drinking and partying in May 2018 when he came across an altercation on Richmond Street involving victim Derek Szaflarski, 27, and another man.

“When they were fighting, I just thought it was a fist fight,” Riley said. “When I started to look closer I saw the blood…I could tell it was something worse from the way he was holding his chest.”

“When he (Szaflarski) fell…I ran to him to try to help him…but the pool of blood has already started.”

Riley said he called 911 as soon as he could, “I was very emotional at the time, I just witnessed someone’s death.”

Szaflarski had gone to celebrate his birthday that night almost four years ago. After downtown bars closed, he got into a fight with a man after walking past his Nissan Ultima on Richmond Street.

The court heard he had been stabbed five times.

Four days after the incident, Robert Ashley Williams, 39, turned himself in to London police. He is charged with second degree murder and has pleaded not guilty.

Later that day, the jury heard from another eyewitness who was at the crime scene.

An Uber driver who used Richmond Row testified that everything happened so quickly.

Ali Can Aslan said when he saw Szaflarski, “He moved his T-shirt and there was a huge amount of blood. I remember his girlfriend was screaming.

He said moments later he saw the other man take off, “I was very shocked and a bit shaky and for a moment I thought about chasing after him.”

With these two witnesses, the Crown has concluded its case and the trial is now in the hands of the defense when it resumes next Tuesday.

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