Trial begins for man accused of murder in 2022 stabbing near Kingston’s ICH

Kingstonist file photo.

Warning: This article contains details of violence that some readers may find disturbing.

The trial of Roy Douglas Snyder officially got underway on Tuesday, Jul. 9, 2024, following the selection of a jury on Monday, Jul. 8, 2024. Justice Graeme Mew presided over The Ontario Superior Court of Justice at the Frontenac County Courthouse in Kingston.

Snyder stands charged with second-degree murder in the death of David “Jaeger” Hodgson, as well as with possession of a weapon.

Hodgson was stabbed to death in the parking lot of the Integrated Care Hub (ICH) on Montreal Street in the early morning hours of Monday, Jan.10, 2022. The 51-year-old man died soon after the attack, and Snyder was arrested later that day. Both men were known members of the ICH community who sought the services offered there. Following Hodgson’s passing, his daughter spoke publicly about the importance of the ICH in Kingston, praising the services delivered at “The Hub” and the people who provide them. Kingstonians learned a month later that hundreds of overdoses had been reversed through the ICH services; that number reached over 1,500 by May of 2023.

Snyder sat in the prisoner’s box wearing a grey suit jacket and khaki dress shirt. His long brown hair was slicked back into a ponytail of curls, and he had a thin moustache and curly chin beard. He appeared significantly aged since his pretrial hearing in January 2023, with more grey hair at his temples and a gaunter face.

The nine women and three men of the jury first heard over an hour of instructions from Justice Mew, in which he reminded them that it is their duty to judge only the facts of the case and that Snyder is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

Next, assistant Crown attorney Christian Moreno presented his opening statement, summarizing the Crown’s idea of the important details of the case and the witnesses he and Crown attorney Matthew Geigen-Miller would call. These included police witnesses, staff, and clients at the ICH, as well as medical and forensic experts.

As Moreno addressed the jury, he described the Integrated Care Hub as a “social service agency that serves people who are experiencing homelessness.”

Hodgson was one of several clients outside the hub on that January morning, a little past 2 a.m., said Moreno. Hodgson was at an outdoor meeting area right next to the building. “He was with this man,” Moreno said, indicating with a gesture, “Roy Snyder.”

Ultimately, Moreno said witnesses would attest that an argument broke out between the two, getting louder and louder and culminating in Roy Snyder forcefully stabbing Hodgson. The assistant Crown attorney then explained what he alleges led up to that violent assault.

Moreno indicated that witnesses will testify that, “Earlier that morning,” before the fatal events, “Roy Snyder said that ‘David Hodgson would get it.’” He said that around 2 a.m. Hodgson was inside a small indoor vestibule where clients could go for a few minutes to “warm up a bit and grab a hot coffee.” Moreno also indicated that because of COVID-19 restrictions in place, only one person was allowed inside at a time.

The assistant Crown went on to say that a witness will testify that while Hodgson was inside, Snyder pounded on the door. After Hodgson left, Snyder went inside, Moreno said, adding that a witness will testify that Snyder was angry and agitated and said, “Dave’s gonna get it.”

Minutes later, he said witnesses will testify, Snyder and Hodgson got into an argument over drugs and Snyder got louder and more agitated. A witness heard Snyder say, “You fucking owe me 10 bucks,” Moreno disclosed.

At this point in the proceedings, Hodgson’s daughter, who was in the courtroom, visibly began shaking and wiping tears away.

Moreno continued, stating that witnesses will testify that Snyder then raised his arm and “plunged a blade into the centre of Hodgson’s chest, with enough force that it went through his sternum and into his heart.”

Moreno said witnesses will attest that Hodgson pulled the blade out of his body, told staff he had been stabbed, sat down on a rock, and then attempted to get up before collapsing onto the asphalt. Meanwhile, Snyder had walked quickly past a fire pit, and witnesses will testify he said, “That’s what you get,” before walking quickly into the woods.

After his opening remarks, Moreno called the first Crown witness: Sergeant Blair Watt of the Kingston Police Force.

Kingstonist will continue to report on this trial as it proceeds, with the accounts of witnesses to be outlined next in this continuing coverage.

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