The day after Sabrina Patterson went missing, Fred Prosser was crying at work, the jury in his first-degree murder trial was told on Thursday.
Prosser, 33, of Shenstone, is charged with first-degree murder, sexual assault causing bodily harm and sexual assault in the death of Sabrina Patterson, the 25-year-old mother of his two children.
The Crown alleges Prosser sexually assaulted Patterson and strangled her to death.
Patterson, of Riverview went missing on Oct. 29, 2010. Her body was found in a wooded area near Shenstone on Nov. 6, 2010.
On Thursday, the court heard from Prosser's ex-girlfriend's mother, Leslie Terris, who was also a longtime family friend.
She said Prosser had just started working with her at the new Canadian Tire in Riverview the week before Patterson went missing. On the morning of Oct. 30, which was before the store had opened to the public, Prosser was crying, said Terris.
She told the court she had never seen him in such a state before and asked him if he was all right. He replied: "I'm just really stressed right now."
Terris said she asked if there was anything she could do, but Prosser said: "No, not really."
Another co-worker, Jocelyn Land, said Prosser told her he was having personal problems and had only gone to bed at 7:20 a.m. that day. Land said Prosser asked her if he looked pale and she told him he did.
Prosser said he was still in love with his ex, said Land, although no names were mentioned.
Andrew Boyd, the former manager of the Canadian Tire, testified that Prosser seemed a little distant on Oct. 30 and that colleagues had noticed he was distressed.
Prosser had tears in his eyes and said he had personal problems, Boyd said.
Boyd told Prosser to take 15 or 20 minutes to get himself together. Prosser sat in his car, but was still emotionally distressed, so Boyd asked him if he wanted to go home and come back on Nov. 1.
Prosser agreed, but never showed up, Boyd said.
Talked about harming Patterson
On Wednesday, the jury heard from eight witnesses, four of whom told the court they had heard Prosser talk about harming Patterson.
Amy Terris, who dated Prosser in August and September of 2010, said Prosser said at times he wished Patterson would just disappear.
She said at one point, Prosser told her he could see his hands around Patterson's neck and then see himself taking his own life.
Terris said she told Prosser to smarten up and figured he was just venting.
Under cross-examination, she said any time Prosser mentioned harming Patterson, he would say, "but I can't, because I love her."
Two employees at a bar Prosser went to regularly also testified on Wednesday. Both said Prosser talked about killing or hurting an ex-girlfriend, but didn't name her. They didn't report it because they didn't take it seriously, they said.
The court also heard from Crystal Doiron, a longtime friend of Prosser's, who had a conversation with him days before Patterson went missing.
Doiron said Prosser kept repeating something bad was going to happen and talked about hurting or choking Patterson. He then asked her, "Am I scaring you?"
Patterson and Prosser had an on-again, off-again relationship over seven years.
Five weeks have been set aside for the trial. The Crown expects to call about 40 witnesses.