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Crossbow killed Langley man, trial told

Nicholas Ball refused to leave a camp when he was told to: witness

Nicholas Ball died after he was shot with a crossbow for refusing to leave a Langley camp when Jason Robert William Griffiths ordered him to go.

That was the testimony of witness Shane Stanway, who was called by Crown counsel Sonya Bertrand to testify at Griffiths’ trial for second degree murder in the death of Ball, whose body was found on March 29, 2022, on a partly forested property in the 7400-block of 208th Street.

The New Westminster B.C. Supreme trial before Justice Michael Tammen got underway Monday, March 25.

According to Stanway, he and Ball were doing drugs when they visited Griffiths, who had set up a camp in a vacant lot about 100 yards off 208th Street.

READ ALSO: IHIT charges Langley man for March murder of 29-year-old

Before it got dark, he could see into the tent through its open door.

“I could see food, all kinds of junk, books, a crossbow,” Stanway testified.

The witness could see some arrows for the crossbow, too, just outside the tent.

The men built a fire, and when it became dark, Griffiths, 40 at the time, demanded that two men leave.

“Assertive” is how the witness described Griffiths’ tone.

“Like – ‘go!’’”

Ball, 29 at the time, balked at the command.

“We don’t have to,” he declared.

“It kind of aggravated Jason,” Stanway recalled.

“I said,“Let’s just go, man.”

When Griffiths repeated his demand, Ball refused.

“What are you going to do about it?” Stanway recalled Ball saying.

According to the witness, Ball wasn’t being confrontational, “he was standing up for himself.”

By then, the arrows had been moved inside the tent. Griffiths came out of the shelter with the crossbow and took one or two steps toward Ball, who was standing six to eight feet away from the tent entrance, to one side of the fire.

Stanway remembers hearing the crossbow trigger click, and the impact of the arrow knocking the wind out of Ball.

“I told you to get the f___ out of here,” Griffiths said.

Ball fled, pursued by Griffiths.

A few minutes later, Griffiths returned, alone, and told the witness that Ball was dead.

He was angry, the witness recalled, saying “I told you guys to f___ off.”

READ ALSO: Accused in 2022 Langley killing to face trial

The witness went looking for Ball, found him curled up in a fetal position, and rolled him over.

Stanway could see the arrow in the “lower part” of Balls’ body, he said.

“He was white as a ghost. His eyes were open.”

He testified that Griffiths later moved the body away from the path where Ball died, wrapping the remains “in a tarp or something.”

Stanway testified he told Griffiths to call 911, but the two men nodded off from smoking heroin instead.

Eventually Griffiths did call the police, the next day.

A video reenactment of the crime by the witness was recorded by police and was to be played at trial.

The hearing is expected to last until the middle of April, with a tentative additional court date in May.

At the time of his death, Ball had a criminal record of assault with a conviction in 2017, and was awaiting trial on charges of kidnapping, unlawful confinement, and aggravated assault, dating back to Aug. 29, 2017, with the alleged offences taking place in Langley and Dawson Creek.

Persons charged with a criminal offence are considered not guilty until the charges are proven in court.

Dan Ferguson

About the Author: Dan Ferguson

Best recognized for my resemblance to St. Nick, I’m the guy you’ll often see out at community events and happenings around town.
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