St. Albert man snared in police dragnet
Three years after arrest, Kenneth Angus Campbell on trial for aggravated assault, robbery
By: Peter Boer
| Posted: Wednesday, Mar 06, 2013 03:30 pm
Almost three years ago, members of the Edmonton Police Service tactical and robbery units fanned out through Edmonton and St. Albert, looking for a suspect in the bloody attack of an Edmonton pawnshop owner.
On March 17, 2010 at the intersection of Coal Mine Road and St. Albert Trail, they found Kenneth Angus Campbell, 59, and placed him under arrest.
Campbell, a St. Albert resident and former pawnshop owner, faces charges of aggravated assault, robbery and possession of a weapon for the March 1, 2010 attack on 76-year-old David Woolfson, who was the owner of the A1 Trading Pawnshop in the northeast corner of Edmonton’s downtown.
The Crown alleges that Campbell robbed Woolfson in his store of approximately $30,000 worth of jewelry and viciously attacked Woolfson with an axe, almost amputating one of Woolfson’s ears.
Campbell is representing himself in the weeklong trial in Edmonton’s Court of Queen’s Bench before Justice M.D. Gates. Both Monday and Tuesday, Campbell appeared in a camouflage ball cap, jeans and the same coloured T-shirt, asking very few questions of witnesses.
EPS Const. Robert Crawford testified Tuesday that he and several other units had been called in to arrest Campbell, whom police had identified as a suspect in the attack on Woolfson. After not locating him in Edmonton, Crawford and several other units drove to St. Albert to check places of interest. Crawford was travelling eastbound on Coal Mine Road when he saw a black Jeep Cherokee drive the opposite way.
“I turned around and pulled in behind the vehicle, which was stopped at a red light at Coal Mine Road and (St. Albert Trail),” Crawford said. “I could observe the driver looking at me through the rear-view and side mirrors.”
“I seen you pull that U-turn and that’s why I was looking at you,” Campbell stated during his cross-examination of Crawford.
As soon as the Jeep turned south onto St. Albert Trail, Crawford stopped him. The driver was Campbell, whom Crawford placed under arrest. While searching Campbell, Crawford removed several woodworking screws from his pockets as well as two “wads” of cash, one from each of Campbell’s pants pockets, which he turned over to evidence.
That cash, EPS Det. Stephen Dowie later testified, totalled $3,000 in American $100 bills, $460 in Canadian $20 bills and $23.39 in other Canadian denominations. Dowie took possession of the cash when Campbell was taken to EPS headquarters in downtown Edmonton. Dowie himself had spent seven hours that day watching for Campbell outside an Oakmont home.
Crown prosecutor Avril Inglis told Gates Monday that the Crown’s case against Campbell is largely circumstantial. One witness claims he saw Campbell in Woolfson’s store between 2:30 and 3:30 p.m. on the day Woolfson was assaulted. Police received a 911 call for a disturbance of an unspecified nature at approximately 3:50 p.m. that day.
One of the responding officers, Const. Nadine Comeau, testified paramedics were already working on Woolfson, whom she had met before, when she arrived. Comeau said Woolfson’s face was “completely covered with blood.”
“He was so covered in blood, I didn’t recognize him,” Comeau said.
A pair of officers working for EPS’ forensic unit testified Monday they found a large pool of blood behind the pawnshop’s main counter, as well as blood spatter and droplets on the counter, on the wall behind the counter, as well as a nearby desk. No axe or hatchet was found at the scene.
Comeau also testified it appeared some jewelry had been removed from a display case.
Woolfson is testified to schedule this morning. Inglis informed the court Monday Woolfson remembers nothing of the attack.