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Roebuck's roommate testifies in ongoing murder trial

According to Haines' testimony, Roebuck left the house out the main door and a few minutes later, he heard two loud gunshots. He added Roebuck returned home shortly afterwards.
Airdrie resident Michael Antony Roebuck is currently undergoing a two-week trial in Calgary, after being charged with murdering his neighbour, Daniel Macdonald, in 2019.

Editor's note: This story contains graphic details. Reader discretion is advised.

The tenant of Airdrie resident and accused killer Michael Antony Roebuck said he deduced what his roommate/landlord had done shortly after he heard two gunshots ring through Canoe Close SW on Sept. 7, 2019.

Keith Haines was one of the several witnesses who testified at Roebuck’s ongoing murder trial on Oct. 17 – day six of a two-week, judge-alone trial at the Calgary Courts Centre.

Roebuck is under trial for allegedly causing the death of his neighbour, Daniel Macdonald. The Crown Prosecutor Joe Mercier’s theory is that Roebuck shot Macdonald twice on Sept. 7, 2019 after the two residents of Airdrie's Canals District fought earlier that afternoon at a nearby gas station. Mercier argues the two neighbours' animosity toward each other had been caused by a failed business venture.

When it was his turn to take to the stand on Monday morning, Haines said he was spending the day of Sept. 7, 2019 relaxing at the home he shared with Roebuck, who owned the house and lived in the basement suite while Haines and his son lived upstairs. According to Haines, Roebuck asked him that morning if he could borrow his Porsche Boxter for a trip to Red Deer.

Haines said he was on the couch watching a movie when Roebuck came back home that afternoon, with some blood on his lip and appearing agitated.

“A few minutes later he came back up [from downstairs],” Haines recalled, adding Roebuck mumbled something incoherently when he asked him what had happened. “It looked like he was holding his shotgun.”

According to Haines' testimony, Roebuck left the house out the main door and a few minutes later, he heard two loud gunshots. He added Roebuck returned home shortly afterwards.

Haines said he asked Roebuck what he had done and the man replied, “I took care of it.”

“I didn't know exactly what had happened but I deduced it,” Haines told the court, adding he left the house to go retrieve his son from a friend's house shortly afterwards.

It was while picking up his son, Haines told the court, that the police called him and informed him there had been a murder on his street.

Much of Haines’ testimony corroborated with the accounts of previous witnesses on Oct. 13, including Roebuck’s ex-girlfriend Katrin Marohn and Macdonald’s widow Carolyn. All three spoke about the worsened relationship between Roebuck and Macdonald, who had started out as friends. They and all confirmed the two neighbours would often shout at one another if they encountered each other on the street, and that Roebuck believed Macdonald owed him money.

During the cross-examination, Roebuck’s defense counsel asked Haines if he had heard Roebuck rack his shotgun before he left the house with it. He responded that he had not.

The defense lawyers also asked him if Roebuck had acted differently in the lead-up to Macdonald’s murder. Haines replied Roebuck had acted paranoid, and was worried someone was following him. The witness mentioned that Roebuck had even installed security cameras, and told Haines to be careful, as he may have been followed, too.

“[Roebuck] said Dan had told him he was going to burn the house down with my son and I in it,” Haines said, during the defense counsel’s cross-examination.

Police describe arrest, Roebuck's surrender

Also on Oct. 17, three members of the Airdrie RCMP at the time of Macdonald's murder testified. The first two officers described the initial dispatch and Roebuck's subsequent surrender and arrest following the shooting. 

Cst. Kim Deschenes said she was one of the responding officers to the call, which was about a shooting on Canoe Close SW. According to Deschenes' testimony, Roebuck surrendered himself to police while they were patrolling Canoe Close.

"He said, 'I'm trying to tell you, you guys are looking for me,'" she told the court. 

"At that point, I pointed my firearm at him and told him to get on the ground."

Deschenes added that when he was told he was being arrested, Roebuck said, 'Yeah, I know – I did it....'If he didn't' punch me earlier at the gas station, this wouldn't have happened.'

Roebuck's two-week judge-alone trial began on Oct. 11 and is scheduled to last for two weeks. Defense attorney Krysia Przepiorka is representing Roebuck.

Court of King's Bench Justice Michele Hollins is hearing the case.


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