BY KEITH LACEY
A calm, cool and co-operative Garson senior confessed to a Sudbury police officer minutes after he shot the neighbour he?d been feuding with.
?The accused came outside his house smoking a cigarette?he appeared calm,? said Const. Marc Guerin, the arresting officer of Jerry Paiement on the evening of June 5, 2001.
?I said to him ?I have to talk to you??he was quite calm the entire conversation. I told him to put the smoke out. I then told him he was under arrest for attempted murder.?
After placing Paiement in his police cruiser, Paiement admitted he had shot Mark Houle in the stomach.
The trial has heard Houle, 37, was shot once in the abdomen at close range with a .44-calibre handgun owned by Paiement.
Paiement, 65, has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder.
It?s expected Paiement?s lawyer will offer a defence of self-defence.
Several witnesses testified Paiement was angry Houle had crossed onto his property, they exchanged words and met face-to-face in a yard located between Paiement?s property and a home owned by Houle?s father on Falconbridge Road in Garson.
Houle lived on Barrydowne Road in Sudbury and frequently visited his father in Garson.
While in the back of the police cruiser, Paiement confessed he and Houle had a longstanding feud and he?d shot him after an argument, Guerin testified.
Paiement told him ?he?s (Houle) been told more than once that was his yard and this is my yard. The neighbours have told him that and I told him.?
During a videotaped interview at police headquarters, Paiement said he and Houle had a long-running feud.
He told Guerin on videotape ?I haven?t been in shit in all my life?but he?s been getting in my face for three to four years.?
Paiement made a further comment about ?how many times do you gotta be told?and there?s a limit to everything you know,? Guerin testified.
Paiement was co-operative, calm from the time he met him until his taped confession was finished, said Guerin.
Roger St. Pierre, 43, a neighbour of Paiement?s for 15 years, testified he knew Paiement well and had never had a single argument over many years.
St. Pierre said he and his friend Aaron Sabzali were playing music in his basement around 8 pm when Houle paid a brief visit, had portions of one beer, sang a song or two, and then left to see how his daughter and St. Pierre?s two daughters were doing outside.
Houle was in a good mood during his entire visit, said St. Pierre. About five minutes later, Houle?s daughter Kara and St. Pierre?s two daughters ran into his home in hysterics saying something terrible had happened outside, he testified.
He ran outside and saw Houle had been shot. ?The first thing I saw was Mark laying on the ground by the patio doors,? he said. ?I was calling 911.?
Paiement emerged from his house and calmly turned to him, and said ?can you believe this,? he said.
Sabzali had never met Houle before that evening. He didn?t believe it when one of St. Pierre?s daughters told him Houle had been shot, he said.
He went over to comfort Houle, who was laying on his side in a great deal of pain, he said.
That?s when Paiement approached the area where Houle lay bleeding.
?I asked who did this and an elderly gentleman responded and said ?I shot him?,? said Sabzali.
?I basically said, ?what in the f? is with you. You don?t shoot someone for no reason?. He didn?t respond.?
The trial continues before a six-man, five-woman jury. The trial is expected to finish by the end of this week or early next week.
Paiement has been in custody since his arrest at the Sudbury District Jail for the past 18 months.