Closing remarks expected in Curtis Bonnell's murder trial
Jury is expected to start deliberating on Friday
The jury in Curtis Bonnell’s first-degree murder trial is expected to hear closing remarks on Thursday afternoon and will likely start deliberating on Friday.
Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Fred Ferguson said on Wednesday that closing statements from the Crown and the defence will start at 1:30 p.m. on Thursday.
He told the jury he will give them their final instructions on Friday at 9:30 a.m. and told them to bring their overnight bags.
If the jury is unable to reach a verdict before 9 p.m. on Friday, they will be sequestered in a hotel and they will return to the court to continue deliberating on Saturday.
Bonnell, 32, of the Esgenoopetitj First Nation, is charged with first-degree murder in the death of Hilary Bonnell, his 16-year-old first cousin. He has pleaded not guilty.
The Bonnell trial was unexpectedly delayed on Wednesday when Bonnell was discovered lying on the floor of his holding cell.
He was rushed to the Miramichi Hospital for examination. However, he returned in the afternoon and finished his testimony.
Once Bonnell’s testimony had wrapped up, the defence called Dr. David Chiasson, a pathologist at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto and a former Ontario chief forensic pathologist, to testify.
After reading the autopsy and toxicology report, Chiasson said it was his opinion that there is not sufficient evidence to warrant a homicide charge.
Chiasson said, in his opinion, the manner of death is undetermined.
He said there were no prior medical conditions and no trauma found on Hilary Bonnell's body to explain her death.
Bonnell is accused of holding Hilary against her will, sexually assaulting her and killing her.
But the accused testified this week that he only told police what they wanted to hear and that he didn’t know how she died.
Bonnell said he woke up in his truck on Sept. 5, 2009, after a night of heavy drinking and doing drugs, to find Hilary's body slumped over in his passenger seat.
The Crown alleges Bonnell picked up Hilary the day she went missing, as she was walking along Micmac Road in the province's northeastern community after a party.
Earlier this month, the jury watched a police video where Bonnell admitted to RCMP that he had killed Hilary in his backyard after they had sex.