He is the one who got away.

Gilles Tetreault just wanted to meet a woman. Instead, the Edmonton man hooked up with a maniac in a hockey mask who was armed with an 800,000-volt stun gun.

And the Crown alleges that maniac was Mark Twitchell.

The jury at the Edmonton filmmaker's first-degree murder trial heard Friday that Tetreault was given odd directions to a Mill Woods garage from an attractive blond woman named Sheena he met on an Internet dating site.

Tetreault testified he got to the garage about 7:15 p.m. on Oct. 3, 2008, and entered the partially open garage door.

Once inside, he was tapped on the arm, put in a bear hug and prodded with what he learned later was a stun gun.

Tetreault said he was "bewildered" and thought someone was playing a joke, but then turned and saw a man.

"All of a sudden I saw this man with a hockey mask on," he said, adding he then realized "this was no date."

Tetreault told the jury he knew he "had to escape somehow" and began putting together a plan in his head.

He said he grabbed the glowing blue stun gun his attacker was prodding him in the chest with and moved it to the side, noting "it felt like an electronic bug zapper."

He said he then tried to run to the door, but was cut off by his attacker, who "pulled a gun" and ordered him to to the floor with his head down and hands behind his back.

Tetreault said his eyes were then covered with duct tape.

The wiry 36-year-old city man teared up on the witness stand as he described feeling his life flashing before his eyes in the garage and then smiled and said he was OK.

Tetreault testified he heard a jingling noise coming from his attacker's pants and became "scared" thinking he might rape him. At that point, he decided to fight back.

"I figured I would rather die my way than his way," said Tetreault, telling jurors he tore off the duct tape, turned to his attacker and said: "I can't go down like this."

He said the man yelled at him and pulled out the gun and he grabbed the weapon and realized it was plastic.

Tetreault testified the two men grappled with each other and then his much larger attacker began punching him on the side of his head and trying to head-butt him.

After failing to kick the man in the groin, Tetreault said he manoeuvred around to get closer to the garage door and then slipped out of his coat and slid under and out.

However, he was unable to run and said he fell down and the man in the hockey mask came outside and began dragging him by his legs back inside the garage.

Tetreault said he thought "oh now I'm dead," but his attacker briefly let go and he got up and started running.

He told the jury he saw a couple walking a dog and asked for help, but said they seemed stunned and ended up walking away after the man in the mask came out.

When his attacker retreated towards the garage, Tetreault said he was able to get into his truck and drive away and eventually made it home, "exhausted" and "hurting."

He testified he doesn't know why he didn't call police right then, but said he did later after getting more information and learning they were seeking an earlier victim.

Twitchell, 31, is accused of using an Internet dating service to lure Johnny Altinger, 38, to his rented garage on the pretext of a date or possible sexual encounter on Oct. 10, 2008. He then allegedly killed and dismembered him and later disposed of his remains down a city sewer.


TONY BLAIS, Court Bureau - Edmonton Sun

First posted: Friday, April 01, 2011 03:14 PM MDT | Updated: Friday, April 01, 2011 06:55 PM MDT