The man charged with first-degree murder in the shooting death of a known gang member took the stand in Red Deer Court of Queens Bench as the last witness before his trial wraps up.
Christopher Fleig, 28, is charged with first-degree murder in connection with the 2009 shooting death of Brandon Prevey, 29. He was also charged with conspiracy to commit murder against Nick Soto but that charge was dropped last week.
Prevey, who Fleig formerly worked under, was shot and killed in what police say was a gang-style execution while sitting in his vehicle in the Inglewood area of Red Deer during the early morning hours of April 5, 2009.
Fleig’s trial began on April 30th in Red Deer.
Last week Fleig, who said he resided in Calgary at the time, testified that on April 4, 2009 he woke up between 1 and 2 p.m. as he was an avid video gamer who frequently stayed up late.
He added he made his usual trip to Red Deer and arrived about 8 p.m. He then had a dinner meeting with his bookkeeper and drug associate and then went to a residence in Riverside Meadows. At around 1:30 a.m. he drove downtown to pick up his girlfriend who worked at Lotus Nightclub at the time.
“I couldn’t see her so I parked at Redstone across the street. I attempted to contact my girlfriend at about 1:50 a.m.,” said Fleig.
He testified that he got a message from Christopher Quinton, one of his drug trade employees, who asked if he wanted to finish watching a movie they had started. He said he agreed and Quinton met him at his parked vehicle.
Fleig said he then got an email from another employee saying he made a nine-ounce soft cocaine sale and wanted to give him the funds from that.
“We drove to Shark’s Garage to meet with him and pick up the funds,” said Fleig.
He added he picked up about $12,600 in cash that was in stacks of $1,000 increments and was wrapped in a hoodie.
“I did not receive a handgun (in the hoodie) like Mr. Quinton said. Why would I have done that? I have a 10-year weapons prohibition, it was late at night, I had a large sum of cash, I was a well-known and unsavory character to the police, I had no driver’s license and I had tinted windows,” he said.
Fleig testified that he and Quinton then drove to the Inglewood neighbourhood to go to a friend’s house to finish watching a movie, adding that he parked a couple of blocks away from the friend’s home.
“I sat in the vehicle talking to Mr. Quinton when I heard multiple gunshots – at least 10,” said Fleig.
When asked if he had a two-way radio or walkie-talkie like Quinton had previously testified that was used to order the murder, Fleig said that was not true.
“That wouldn’t have happened at all. At the level I was at (as a drug dealer), I used a Blackberry that only had access to email. It would have been idiotic to use a walkie-talkie that the police could hear. Mr. Quinton is a liar.”
He added at the time he had no idea what the gunshots were about but felt he had to get out of the area as quickly as possible.
“Mr. Quinton and I started arguing because we didn’t know what happened and he was insistent on getting out of the vehicle, so I let him out on 22nd Street. I headed north on Hwy. 2 to Johnstone Park and I got a message from Mr. (Christopher Ryan) McIvor saying that we needed to meet up. I told him about the gunshots and to stay away from that area of town.”
Fleig testified that he met McIvor and Pedro Saenz on Gasoline Alley near the card lock gas station and McDonalds restaurant on the east side.
“When I got there I saw Mr. McIvor in the middle of this empty lot. I also saw Pedro Saenz rummaging through a black Pontiac Pursuit. I told Mr. McIvor that I heard gunshots and he was mute. He didn’t answer and he wasn’t acting like himself.”
Fleig said Saenz asked if he could get a ride back to Calgary.
“Mr. Saenz grabbed a plastic bag and jumped into my truck. We started driving to Calgary and as we got closer to Olds Mr. Quinton messaged me and told me that Mr. Prevey was killed – basically executed. I was quite shocked.”
He added during the drive to Calgary Saenz confessed to him about killing Prevey and described following the Jeep that Prevey was driving as it parked on a street in the Inglewood neighbourhood. Fleig said Saenz then told him he leaned out as far as he could from the vehicle and “unloaded on Mr. Prevey”, adding that the gun was disposed of on undeveloped land in Gasoline Alley and that the reason for the murder was because of Prevey’s involvement in a recent robbery of a member of the Fresh Off the Boat (FOB) gang.
“Mr. Saenz made a clear statement that if I or anybody I told said anything about this crime to the police that everyone’s family would be dead. I took it quite literally.”
Fleig said he drove Saenz to his mother’s house in northeast Calgary and dropped him off around 5 a.m. He testified the following day he met with his employees back in Red Deer and told them they had to make changes to how they operated in the area.
“I knew I would likely become a suspect or a person of interest based on the fact that Soto and Prevey went around showing a picture of me and my family trying to figure out where I was,” said Fleig, adding he never made any kind of statement saying that he intended to kill Prevey. “If I wanted to kill someone I would do it myself I suppose but it’s not my nature.”
Shortly after Prevey’s murder, Fleig moved to Red Deer. Fleig began to get emotional on the stand as he talked about the mental health issues he faced later in 2009.
“In the fall of 2009 I felt strong feelings of paranoia and began to question everyone around me. I hunkered down in my Eastview home and I let Mr. McIvor conduct all of my business,” he said. “I decided to get out of the drug trade and incorporated two companies. I also made a real estate investment. I was trying to go from the dark side of business to the light side.
“I began to think my dogs were angels that fell from Heaven. I spoke to my dogs and thought they spoke back to me. Mr. McIvor suggested that I check myself into a mental hospital. I started to lose touch with reality later that year.”
He added in the spring of 2010 he began to disregard his personal safety by recklessly driving, and attending establishments where he knew people he could have conflict with could be.
On March 29, 2010 Fleig was arrested and charged in connection with the murder of Prevey. He was taken to the Calgary Forensic Psychiatric Centre where he was kept for over a year. He added he is now mentally stable.
Meanwhile, in March 2011, Saenz, 23, and Brandon Cody Smith, 24, who were charged with first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder in relation to Prevey’s death, had their charges stayed. In April of last year, McIvor, 22, who was charged with first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit to murder, also had his charges stayed.
A stay of proceedings can either be temporary or permanent but it is unlikely the charges will be reinstated.