Ron Cyr took the stand Friday immediately after defence attorney Devin Bains made his opening statement at the Nadia Gehl murder trial.

Cyr, Zdenek ‘Dennis' Zvolensky and Nashat Qahwash are each charged with first degree murder in the Feb. 2009 shooting death of Cyr's wife Nadia Gehl.

Cyr testified for about an hour, discussing growing up and becoming romantically involved with Gehl in high school.

He described Gehl's shyness and her captivating eyes.

In his opening statement, Bains told the court Cyr is innocent and has been living a nightmare that began the morning his wife was murdered.

He says the situation has been made worse by the suspicion his client faced amid claims Gehl didn't have an enemy in the world.

Bains alleges Gehl was murdered as part of an elaborate scheme by Zvolensky and Qahwash to blackmail Cyr into joining a business venture she had objected to.

He claims Zvolensky planned the murder and was, in effect, holding the murder weapon to Cyr's head, saying it could be placed in a location that would implicate him.

In contrast, Crown prosecutor Fraser Kelly alleges Cyr planned the murder of his wife for insurance money and enlisted the other two men to carry it out.

But Bains says his client has no interest in the insurance money and that he's taken steps to make sure any funds received in connection with Gehl's death will go to charity.