STEPHENVILLE — The trial of Matthew Francis O’Quinn got underway on Wednesday morning with testimony from the alleged victim. However, the proceedings had to be stopped at times because of the emotional state of the female during testimony.
While O’Quinn has a number of charges against him that will be dealt with on Nov. 8, the nine charges on the docket on Wednesday all related to matters with the woman. Those charges include, three of assault, three of uttering threats to cause death or bodily harm, two of failure to comply with probation orders and the more serious charge of forcible confinement.
The woman, whose name is protected by a publication ban, gave testimony from behind a screen to avoid eye contact with the accused.
The woman testified she first met O’Quinn at the lockup in Stephenville and later started dating him, resulting with them moving in together in an apartment on Ohio Drive in Stephenville.
She told of the first time he grabbed her by the hair and allegedly assaulted her, throwing her to the floor after she had returned from the hospital after under going treatment for a drug addiction.
Later in her testimony, she talked of how she went with him to a cabin in Flat Bay, which was actually in the Flat Bay Brook area according to police, and how she and the accused walked two hours on a trail to get there. In her testimony she referred to the cabin as a “gypsy cabin.”
She said they were there for two weeks and other than going to visit his parents the first day, they stayed at the cabin, with the exception of several days at another place she described as a “nice cabin.” It was at this nice cabin she said O’Quinn found a .22 calibre rifle, which she said he later pointed at her and threatened to shoot her with.
She testified while on trails in the area, O’Quinn threatened to kill her or to kill her daughter, and uttered the same threats again at the “gypsy cabin.”
She said after he found the rifle, O’Quinn always kept it with him and loaded.
In her testimony, she said O’Quinn told her he wanted her to learn to shoot the gun because if the cops came to the cabin there would be a shootout and they’d have to kill him because he wouldn’t be going back to jail.
“I really didn’t know what to think,” she said when asked her thoughts on that by Crown attorney Alana Dwyer.
The woman testified she realized she didn’t want to be with him any longer because she had become scared of him after instances where he had hit her, which she testified was once outside the “gypsy cabin” and another time while they were walking on the road.
“If I get a headache, then you are going to get a headache, that’s the way he would talk,” she said of some of the times he hit her.
Judge Laura Menne has three days set aside for the trial with a number of witnesses to take the stand today.