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Murder retrial underway in case involving shooting death outside Clinton

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The retrial of a man previously found guilty of murdering a Toronto-area construction executive is underway in St. Thomas, Ont. with the accused, Boris Panovski, denying any wrongdoing.

Panovski, now 79 years of age, stood next to his new lawyer when he pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder and attempted murder.

The one-time dog breeder had been found guilty after a trial in Goderich in 2018, however he was granted a retrial three years later.

In her opening address, Crown Attorney Kelsey Good told the court that on Sept. 13, 2014, Donato Frigo, 70, and his wife Eva Willer-Frigo were in Huron County for a bird dog event.

She said they were on horseback riding along with their dogs when, “Mr. and Mrs. Frigo were ambushed and shot by the gunman…Donato was shot twice, the second which was execution style…Eva survived.”

The Crown said the court will hear of, "A prior deep-seated grudge that Boris Panovski had with Donato Frigo…you will hear that Mr. Panovski blamed Mr. Frigo for the loss of his esteemed reputation in the bird dog world.”

Don Frigo is seen in this image from Ontario Out of Doors magazine.

The Crown said that during the trial evidence will show that in the weeks and months before the shooting, Panovski planned the shooting in which “Mr. Panovski was that gunman who killed Donato Frigo and attempted to murder Eva.”

Earlier the court also heard that on the day after the shooting Panovski had a ticket to Macedonia and withdrew $10,000 from his bank account.

He was eventually arrested when he returned.

The first witness to testify was OPP Identification Officer Jeffrey Myatt who spoke with Frigo’s wife moments after the shooting.

He said, “She was distraught, she was very anxious, she wanted us to go and find that person who shot her husband.”

The retrial is slated to last for six weeks.  

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