A man accused of murdering a 14-year-old girl has told B.C. Supreme Court her death was accidental, saying she died during an argument with his son.
The strangled and naked body of Chelsey Acorn was found in a shallow grave near Hope in 2006 after she’d been killed nine months earlier.
West told the court Thursday that in June 2005, he saw his son and Acorn having an argument, and he walked away.
He said he later noticed the fight was getting more heated, with the two of them waving their arms, when Acorn suddenly fell over.
West said he rushed over and took the girl’s pulse and found she was dead.
Instead of calling 911, West said he then made a mistake and decided to hide Acorn’s body.
Earlier, the court heard recordings of West telling undercover police officers who were part of a sting operation that he choked Acorn to stop her from causing trouble.
But on Thursday, West testified that his confession was a lie.
A former foster parent of Acorn said she didn't find West’s testimony convincing.
"I guess I'm having problems listening to his lies, is ultimately what it comes down to," said Cheryl Walden said outside the court.
"We're still missing a young lady who had potential to be a beautiful young lady, a young woman with a family of her own, and children."
Court also heard how West, a long-haul trucker, told police officers he would provide details of two other killings if they would grant him some concessions.
One of those was getting his son's conviction reduced from first-degree to second-degree murder.
But on the stand Thursday, he said he was lying to police at the time to improve his conditions in jail.
The trial in Chilliwack will continue, with court hearing more testimony from the defendant.