Slain teen picked out of mall crowd: witness
A 13-year-old girl was picked out of a crowd at West Edmonton Mall after one of the accused suggested killing someone "for fun," a witness testified Thursday.
Michael Briscoe, 36, and Joseph Laboucan, 21, are on trial for the kidnapping, aggravated sexual assault and first-degree murder of Nina Courtepatte in April 2005.
The witness, Briscoe's former girlfriend, was 17 when Courtepatte died and faces the same charges in the girl's death. The woman, whose identity cannot be released due to a publication ban, has yet to go to trial.
Wearing a sweatshirt, jeans and shackles as she testified, the young woman said she and the two accused menhad been unemployed and living in a west-end motel for about three weeks before Courtepatte's death.
They didn't have much money, but theyhad a car her uncle had given her, which Briscoe drove, she said.
On April 2, 2005, they were driving to a restaurant when Laboucan raised the idea of finding someone to kill that night "for fun," she testified.
Later that night, Laboucan picked Courtepatte out of a crowd of young people standing outside an arcade at West Edmonton Mall, she said.
Teens promised a party: witness
Courtepatte and a friend were then promised they would be taken to a party west of townwhere there would bethe drug ecstasy and alcohol, she told the court.
Briscoe drove a group of young people tothe entrance of a golf course, but initially stayed in the car, she said. Laboucan took some tools out ofthe trunk,then coerced her into carrying a large wrench, she testified.
As they walked to a grassy area, the witness told the courtthat Courtepatte was "eating a candy sucker."
Laboucan insistedthree times that she hit Courtepatte withthe wrench, she testified.
"I said no," she told the court.
"He asked me again and I hit her in the middle of the back."
The witness then described how Laboucan sexually assaulted Courtepatte.
The young woman's testimony is expected to continue into Friday.
Five charged in Courtepatte's death
Courtepatte's bruised and bloody body was found on the Edmonton Springs Golf Course in April 2005.
Briscoe and Laboucan are being tried before a judge alone in Alberta's Court of Queen's Bench. The trial is expected to last a month.
They are among five people charged with the girl's murder, but unlike the other three, they were adults at the time of her death.
A 19-year-old man has already pleaded guilty to first-degree murder.Twoyoung women are charged with kidnapping, aggravated sexual assault and first-degree murder, but haven't yet come to trial.
The man and two women who were teens at the time of the slayingcan't be named under the provisions of the Youth Criminal Justice Act.