Marissa Shephard murder trial hears about hours following death of Baylee Wylie
Friend of victim says she 'hung out' with Shephard, Tyler Noel and Devin Morningstar on Dec. 17, 2015
Marissa Shephard's murder trial heard Monday from a woman who "hung out" with the accused and two others, just hours after Baylee Wylie was killed.
Bailey Fillmore, who was friends with Wylie, said her mother woke her on the morning of Dec. 17, 2015, and drove her to the burned triplex on Sumac Street, where firefighters discovered the 18-year-old's body.
The area was cordoned off with caution tape and an officer confirmed there had been a fire, but Fillmore testified she didn't yet realize Wylie was dead.
"At that point I thought everyone was OK," said Fillmore, who was emotional on the stand and had to be reminded several times by Court of Queen's Bench Justice Zoel Dionne to speak up.
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Fillmore told the court she had been at the triplex just two days prior with Wylie, Shephard and two others.
Shephard, 22, is on trial for first-degree murder and arson with disregard for human life.
"Marissa and me weren't really friends," said Fillmore, who was only 15 at the time.
Shephard was thinner and had blond hair at the time, she said — the same description given by previous witness, Claude Leblanc. Shephard's young son had also been with them at the triplex, she said.
After leaving the fire scene, Fillmore said she went to Devin Morningstar's home to find her friends. Morningstar, Tyler Noel and Shephard were all there, she said.
"We just hung out there," said Fillmore. "At that point I didn't know what happened."
After a few hours, the group left and went to someone else's house, she said, adding she wasn't sure to whom it belonged.
Asked under cross-examination by defence lawyer Gilles Lemieux how the decision was made to leave, Fillmore said she didn't know.
"I was kind of out of the loop."
Later, they went to a store together, she said, although she couldn't remember which one.
Crown prosecutor Annie St. Jacques played a few minutes of a security video from the store for the jury and asked Fillmore to identify the people in the video.
When they left the store, Fillmore said they went to another person's house where she called a taxi. Her mother was "freaking out," trying to get in touch with her, she said, so she and Morningstar went to Starbucks, where her mother worked.
Fillmore testified Morningstar stayed there for about a half-hour or an hour. She didn't know what time he left or who picked him up, she said.
She stayed until 9 p.m., when the coffee shop closed and her mother finished working.
The trial, now in its second week, is scheduled to resume on Tuesday at 9:30 a.m.
Last week, Crown prosecutors called 14 witnesses. They included police officers, firefighters, a former NB Housing employee and one of Shephard's neighbours. But some of the most compelling testimony came from the unknowing getaway driver, Claude Leblanc.
Under cross-examination, Leblanc said he couldn't definitively place Shephard at the triplex, where Wylie was killed.
Leblanc told the court of his annoyance at being woken up at 4 a.m. on Dec. 17, 2015 by a crying Morningstar.
He said he was asked to go to Sumac Street, in the Lewisville area of Moncton, where he picked up Morningstar and two other people, a male and a female. The identity of the woman was at the centre of defence lawyer's questioning.
In court, Leblanc said Shephard was 'possibly' the woman he gave a ride to that morning. But Gilles Lemieux, Shephard's lawyer, recounted to Leblanc he told police on Dec. 18, 2015 the occupants of the car were, "'some dude and some chick. I don't know them."
"Today, two years later you say Marissa Shephard, but on the 18th you couldn't identify her," Lemieux said, to which Leblanc agreed.