Judge warns Curtis Bonnell jury about transcripts
Discrepancies between Bonnell's videotaped police statements and transcripts
A Court of Queen's Bench judge has warned the jury at Curtis Bonnell's first-degree murder trial about transcripts involved in the case.
Justice Fred Ferguson told the jury on Tuesday that he's already noticed discrepancies between what he's hearing on Bonnell's videotaped police statements, which are being played for the Miramichi courtroom, and transcripts of those statements.
Ferguson urged the jury to decide for themselves what they're hearing because, he said, the actual meaning of a sentence may change completely, depending upon how a word is interpreted.
Bonnell, 32, of the Esgenoopetitj First Nation in northeastern New Brunswick, is charged with the first-degree murder of 16-year-old Hilary Bonnell in 2009.
The Crown alleges Bonnell picked up Hilary, his first cousin, on Sept. 5, 2009, as the she was walking along Micmac Road in the northeastern community after a party.
Bonnell is accused of holding Hilary against her will, sexually assaulting her and killing her.
Police made several recordings of Bonnell using microphones in the walls of police stations or jails, or with an officer wearing a body pack.
Parts of the conversations are inaudible, either due to poor quality recordings, people speaking too softly, or too much noise in the background.
On Tuesday, the jury was shown a videotape of Bonnell being questioned by the RCMP at the Moncton Detention Centre in November, 2009, after leading police to a remote wooded area near Tabusintac, where they later discovered Hilary's body in a shallow grave.
Denies knowing Hilary
Bonnell mumbles and rambles about wanting to plead in front of a judge.
"I don’t care what I’m charged with, I just want to go to a cell and be left alone," Bonnell said.
He just wants it over and done with and is willing to plead guilty to whatever they want, he said.
Officers can be heard clearly telling him several times that he has the right to a lawyer, but he repeatedly refuses.
When police ask Bonnell for more details about Hilary's death or her burial site, he becomes evasive, mumbles or doesn't answer.
When asked about what type of girl Hilary was, Bonnell says he never knew her, or even met her before, not even at Christmas or family gatherings.
Later on, however, Bonnell describes Hilary as a party girl, who drank, did drugs and introduced his sister to boys.
Bonnell also complains about not having had a shower for three days and that he can't seem to keep any food down.
It could take the full week to watch the remaining videos of police interviews with Bonnell.
The trial, which started on Sept. 17, is expected to last up to eight weeks.