Bonnell murder trial sees last of police videos
The first-degree murder trial of Curtis Bonnell adjourned early on Wednesday at the request of his defence lawyer who is ill.
But the jury heard the last of dozens of hours of police recordings of Bonnell before leaving for the day.
Bonnell, 32, of the Esgenoopetitj First Nation, is charged in the death of his 16-year-old first cousin Hilary Bonnell.
The Crown alleges Bonnell picked up Hilary on Sept. 5, 2009, as the she was walking along Micmac Road in the province's northeastern community after a party.
Bonnell is accused of holding Hilary against her will, sexually assaulting her and killing her.
On Tuesday, the court saw a video from Dec. 2, 2009, when Bonnell admitted to RCMP at Hilary's burial site in Tabusintac that he had killed her after they had sex.
Bonnell suggested it was an accident; that she died after he covered her mouth to stop her from screaming. He said he panicked and drove to the wooded area to bury her.
Burned clothing after burying her
On Wednesday, the jury watched the video of the drive back from the burial site to the RCMP Tracadie-Sheila detachment.
In the video, lead investigator Cpl. Greg Lupson followed up with Bonnell about some of the things he said. He asked Bonnell when he burned some of Hilary's clothing and her cellphone.
Bonnell said he burned the items in his backyard after he returned home from burying her.
At the end of the drive, Bonnell said goodbye to First Nations elder and spiritual leader David Gehue and thanked him.
"With your help, it's made it a lot easier," said Bonnell. "I can move forward."
"So are you happy, satisfied we did the right thing?" Lupson asks.
Bonnell replied that he was.
'Shot in the dark'
Defence lawyer Gilles Lemieux also recalled Crown witness Const. Serge Minville on Wednesday to cross-examine him about when and why Bonnell became a suspect in Hilary's disappearance.
Minville conducted the first interview with Bonnell on Sept. 19, 2009 — about two weeks after Hilary had gone missing.
At that time, Bonnell was only considered a person of interest, Minville told the Miramichi courtroom.
"We had no leads, no witnesses, no crime scene, no news from Hilary," he said.
"Is it fair to say everything was a shot in the dark?" the lawyer asked.
"Officers were looking everywhere, but we had nothing to work with," Minville replied.
Police had interviewed two other people of interest prior to Bonnell, he said.
The trial, which started on Sept. 17, is scheduled to resume Thursday morning when the Crown is expected to call a pathologist and an anthropologist.
The Crown expects to wrap up on Oct. 16.
The trial is scheduled to last up to eight weeks.