Fred Prosser murder trial begins in Moncton
Five men, seven women selected as jury members in Fred Prosser's trial
Posted: Nov 21, 2012 8:10 AM AT
Last Updated: Nov 21, 2012 5:08 PM AT
The first-degree murder trial of a Moncton-area man accused of killing his ex-girlfriend began Wednesday with the Crown prosecutor saying the blood of the victim was found on the jeans of the accused.
Fred Prosser, 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.
Patterson, of Riverview, went missing on Oct. 29, 2010. Her body was found in a wooded area near Shenstone on Nov. 6, 2010.
On Tuesday, Prosser formally pleaded not guilty to the charges and told the judge he was ready to be tried in front of the five men and seven women selected for the jury.
Wednesday, Crown Prosecutor Annie St. Jacques opened the trial by saying she intends to prove that Prosser sexually assaulted Patterson and strangled her to death. St. Jacques said she’ll present evidence showing that Prosser’s blood was found on Patterson’s body, and his DNA was found on her neck.
St. Jacques said she’ll also introduce evidence that Prosser threatened to kill his ex-girlfriend before her death.
RCMP take the standFred Prosser is charged with first-degree murder in the death of his ex-girlfriend, Sabrina Patterson. (CBC)
The first witness in the trial was RCMP Sgt. Blake Keirstead, who started working on the case Nov. 1, 2010, after Patterson was reported missing.
Keirstead said the RCMP initially thought both Patterson and Prosser were missing after her car was found in a Riverview strip mall parking lot. The police launched a search, including ground search and rescue teams and an aircraft.
On Nov. 4, 2010, the RCMP found Prosser at his parents' home, where he had been living, and he was arrested.
Keirstead said Patterson’s remains were found two days later, approximately five kilometres from Prosser’s home.
He said more than 120 RCMP officers have been working on the file, and more than 500 exhibits were retrieved after they executed search warrants.
In the cross examination, defence lawyer Scott Fowler questioned why, in June 2012, several exhibits seized went missing, but then suddenly reappeared this month.
Fowler also pointed out that Prosser had no scratches or injuries on his body when he was arrested by the RCMP.
Second trial scheduled for case
Prosser was originally scheduled to stand trial in Patterson's death in July, but the proceedings were halted on the first day when one of the selected jurors was found to have made comments about the accused on Facebook.
The judge at that time declared a mistrial, saying he had no choice because there was a risk the juror may have tainted the rest of the jury.
Dale Patterson, Sabrina Patterson's brother, said he doesn't expect that to happen again.
"With the judge knowing, he doesn't want any mistrial, he doesn't want anything to happen either," Patterson told CBC News on Tuesday.
"He's kind of on the same side as us as far as wanting things done right and that's all we want. We just want it done right."
Patterson said his family was trying to stay strong through the process.
"They're dealing with it better than they were just because it's been two years, but it just seems that it's always being brought up and especially coming from a small town it's hard to have any peace of mind," he said.
"It's been all over the news and stuff like that so it has been a hard month."
Five weeks have been set aside for the trial. The Crown expects to call about 40 witnesses.
Latest New Brunswick News Headlines
- Liberals, NDP promote party donation transparency
- The provincial Liberal party and the New Democratic Party both say they are on the road to greater transparency in how they raise money after a war of words on party funding. more »
- Spruce budworm outbreak coming, forestry officials warn
- New Brunswick forestry officials are warning the spruce budworm is on the brink of another outbreak, which could cause widespread devastation. more »
- Liberal MLA sent to hospital suffering from chest pains
- Miramichi-Bay du Vin Liberal MLA Bill Fraser is still in the hospital after he was taken from the legislature on Wednesday suffering from chest pains. more »
- New Brunswickers split over shale gas, poll finds
- New Brunswick residents are split on the importance of shale gas development to the province's economic future and many are concerned about its safety, according to a new survey by Corporate Research Associates Inc. more »
Top News Headlines
- Sopranos star James Gandolfini dies in Italy
- James Gandolfini, whose portrayal of a brutal, emotionally delicate mob boss in HBO's 'The Sopranos' helped create one of TV's greatest drama series, dies of an apparent heart attack in Italy. He was 51. more »
- Top court to reveal if it will hear Rob Ford conflict appeal
- The Supreme Court of Canada will reveal today if it will hear an appeal in a conflict of interest challenge that previously threatened to oust Toronto Mayor Rob Ford from office. more »
- Brian Stewart: Forget the cynics, why the Taliban might just want peace
- One big reason, Brian Stewart writes, is the growing strength of the Afghan army. Without the U.S. and its media around to report on the fighting, the next phase in this conflict could get a whole lot bloodier. more »
- Dozens of children seized from Manitoba Mennonite community
- Child welfare authorities have removed all but one child from a small Mennonite community in rural Manitoba. more »
- 14-year-old girl missing in Moncton
- Moncton couple has identity stolen, bank account drained
- Liberals demand Jody Carr fired over Trudeau email
- RCMP probe arson at Moncton’s Old Cosmo nightclub
- New Brunswickers split over shale gas, poll finds
- Dieppe woman arrested after 3 women robbed at knifepoint
- Fredericton SPCA under cat quarantine
- Drunk driving victim shares story to discourage teens
- Fredericton teen attends prom despite serious allergies