A defence lawyer in the trial of two men accused of sexually assaulting and killing a 13-year-old Edmonton girl is accusing a key prosecution witness of lying to get back at his friends.
Lawyer Laurie Wood said Wednesday that the witness – a 19-year-old who has pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in the death Nina Courtepatte – made up lies to get back at his ex-friends,includingaccused Joseph Laboucan.
"He's not my friend now, but I wouldn't lie about him," said the witness.
Michael Briscoe, 36, and Laboucan, 21, have been charged in the kidnapping, aggravated sexual assault and first-degree murder of Courtepatte. Her bruised and bloody body was found on the Edmonton Springs Golf Course in April 2005.
Witness has history of lying to courts, police
The witness, who can't be named because he was a youth at the time of his crime,has testified about the roles he, Briscoe and Laboucan played in the disturbing sexual assault and killing of Courtepatte on the golf course that spring.
Wood,Laboucan's lawyer,noted Wednesdaythatthere isa long list of discrepancies in the testimony of the witness at preliminary hearings and in his statements to police.
Thewitness admitted he lied aboutwhat happenedunder oath, but he maintains he has since become a Christian and is now telling the truth.
The witness also told the court that while he was in a holding cell, he recognized Laboucan's voice, threatening him.
"If I said anything myself and my brother would be harmed," he said.
Cross-examination of the witness continues Thursday.
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.
Two young women are also charged with kidnapping, aggravated sexual assault and first-degree murder, but haven't yet gone to trial.
The women, teens at the time of the slaying, can't be named under the Youth Criminal Justice Act.