Curtis Bonnell testimony finishes
Took witness stand after being found on the floor of holding cell
Posted: Oct 31, 2012 10:21 AM AT
Last Updated: Oct 31, 2012 5:36 PM AT
Curtis Bonnell finished testifying at his first-degree murder trial Wednesday afternoon, just hours after he was found lying on the floor of his holding cell and was rushed by ambulance to the Miramichi Hospital.
Bonnell returned to the stand at about 1:30 p.m. for his second day of cross-examination by the Crown.
No details about Bonnell's condition were discussed in court.
But earlier in the day, his defence lawyer, Gilles Lemieux, told CBC News that Bonnell had been complaining of tingling in his arms, numbness in his body and a shortness of breath before he collapsed in his holding cell at the Miramichi courthouse.
Lemieux said Bonnell was conscious but unresponsive when he was found.
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.
Court of Queen's Bench Justice Fred Ferguson addressed the jury at about 11:35 a.m., saying that the accused had come down with some "health concerns" at about 9:15 a.m. and was taken to hospital.
The judge apologized for the delay, but explained that it was unavoidable. He said although another witness was present and could testify, the accused must be present for all court proceedings.
He then adjourned court until the afternoon, pending an update on Bonnell's condition.
Peppered with questions by Crown
When Bonnell returned to the stand, Crown prosecutor Bill Richards continued to grill him about Sept. 4, 2009 — the day before Hilary disappeared.
He peppered the accused with questions about where he was at specific times, what he remembered about that night, and when exactly he blacked out.
Richards went over statements Bonnell had made to police, but Bonnell, who appeared defensive and short at times, kept saying he didn't remember saying those things.
At one point, there was an emotional outburst by Hilary's mother, Pam Fillier. She cried out and started sobbing, upset that Bonnell was smiling, she said.
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.
Bonnell is accused of holding Hilary against her will, sexually assaulting her and killing her.
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.
Bonnell told police they had fought because Hilary wanted $100 in exchange for the sex and he refused. He said he covered her mouth to stop her from yelling and before he knew it, she was dead.
Told police what they wanted to hearHilary Bonnell disappeared from her northern New Brunswick community in September 2009. (RCMP)
On Monday, Bonnell told the jury he had buried Hilary in the remote wooded area near Tabusintac.
But he said he didn't know what had happened to her.
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.
On Tuesday, he repeated several times throughout his testimony that he led police to her burial site because he wanted some answers. He also did it because he hurt his family, he said.
Bonnell broke down crying, saying he never murdered Hilary, or had sex with her and had been waiting three long years to tell his story.
Asked by his lawyer about his confession to RCMP, Bonnell said he told them what they wanted to hear; that it was all lies because he felt pressured and just wanted the interrogation to be over.
Bonnell said lead investigator Sgt. Greg Lupson kept hammering him with questions and putting suggestions in his head; bringing up possible situations and going to great lengths to talk about possible sexual activities between him and Hilary.
Bonnell said he got fed up and eventually gave in. He said he put together a story based on what Lupson had said.
The trial started on Sept. 17 and is scheduled to last up to eight weeks. The defence began presenting its case on Oct. 23.
Latest New Brunswick News Headlines
- Glut of Tory bills meant to stifle debate, Liberals allege
- The Alward government has launched a legislative blitz on Wednesday, with cabinet ministers introducing 16 bills four weeks before MLAs hope to break for the summer. more »
- Duffy should resign over expense scandal, Tory MP says
- Conservative MP Mike Allen is calling for Senator Mike Duffy to resign amid the growing controversy over his expense scandal. more »
- Kent Homes in Bouctouche lands its largest contract
- Kent Homes in Bouctouche has landed the largest contract in the company's history. more »
- Sale of Edmundston mill good news, mayor says
- The mayor of Edmundston says the pending sale of Twin Rivers Paper Company to a pair of New York-based companies is good news for his city. more »
Top News Headlines
- Harper 'not consulted' about Duffy Senate expense repayment
- Prime Minister Stephen Harper says that not only did he not know about his chief of staff's "gift" to repay Senator Mike Duffy's expenses before the story broke in the media, he was not consulted and did not sign off on Nigel Wright's decision to write a personal cheque. more »
- Mayor Ford stays silent while his brother defends him
- Toronto Mayor Rob Ford continues to stonewall the media over allegations that he was recorded on video smoking what appears to be crack cocaine, but his brother Coun. Doug Ford told reporters Wednesday that the story is untrue. more »
- 'You will see him again in heaven,' Sharlene Bosma tells daughter
- Sharlene Bosma told more than 1,000 people at the public memorial service for her slain husband, Tim Bosma, about the love they shared. more »
- Rob Ford fired as Don Bosco Eagles head coach
- The Toronto Catholic District School board announced Wednesday that it was turfing Mayor Rob Ford from his position as head coach of the Don Bosco Eagles senior football team. more »
- Rothesay woman killed in domestic homicide
- Duffy should resign over expense scandal, Tory MP says
- Stonemason sues after losing legislature contract
- Deaths of 3 fishermen could have been prevented, peers say
- Vandals spray-paint profanity on CFB Gagetown tank
- Elderly man dies in debris fire
- Dieppe drivers face long delays
- Bathurst council rescinds Sunday shopping bylaw
- Woman granted bail in 'Baby Taylor' case