David Folker had baby in car when he dumped Shirran's body
Tells jury he grabbed Ann Marie Shirran by neck, threw her to floor of apartment
David Folker told a St. John's jury that he was acting in self-defence on the night that Ann Marie Shirran died in July 2010, and that he took her by the neck and swung her to the floor of their kitchen.
Folker, 42, who took the stand as the defence opened its case at Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador on Thursday, also told the jury how he dumped Shirran's body in a remote location on the Southern Shore, but not before putting the couple's baby in a carseat.
Members of Shirran's family and friends snickered with derision and made comments as Folker told the court that Shirran came towards him, swinging her fists, while the two quarrelled in the early morning hours of July 19, 2010. Shirran's family also sobbed and cried during his testimony.
"I back off ... trying to block shots," Folker testified. "She had a hold of my shirt."
"I couldn't hear anything. My ears were ringing ... she punched me in both ears."
'Knew she was gone'
Folker testified that he threw Shirran to the floor of their apartment in the Kilbride neighbourhood of St. John's, before tending to the couple's one-year-old son, Moses, who Folker claims was in danger of falling out of his crib.
When he returned, Folker said Shirran was laying lifeless on the kitchen floor with her head up against a cupboard.
Folker said that he picked up Shirran's body and got blood on his hands and that he then fainted on top of her.
Folker testified that he never called 911 because he "knew she was gone."
"I thought they would blame me for this and I would never see my son again," Folker said.
Instead of calling for help, he picked up her body and put it in the bathtub.
I didn't intend to kill her- David Folker
Jurors listened as Folker explained how he later wrapped Shirran's body up in two moving blankets.
"I was going to bury her," Folker told the court.
Folker spoke quietly and kept his head down during most of his testimony, prompting Justice Wayne Dymond to tell Folker to speak up.
The court took a short break after one of the female jurors began to break down crying.
'I felt like I was being torn apart'
Folker later told the court that he tripped going up the stairs outside of his apartment while taking Shirran's body out of their apartment, resulting in her body dropping to the ground.
He said he put Shirran's body in the back of the couple's vehicle, and strapped the baby in the car seat in the back seat while the child was asleep.
According to Folker, he then drove on the Southern Shore highway until he found a dirt road where he could dump the body.
Folker went on to tell the court the lengths he went to in order to dispose of the items he used to clean up Shirran's blood in the apartment and her belongings.
He testified that he came up with an elaborate lie because he feared that the police would take Moses away from him.
"I can't describe how it makes me feel," Folker sobbed, as he spoke about the lies he told Shirran's family, who at the time did not know she was dead.
Folker explained that he tried to go back to Cappahayden to find Shirran's body several times, so that he could "hide her better."
"I wanted to find her before anyone else did," he said.
The Royal Newfoundland Constabulary watched Folker drive back to Blackhead Road and the Southern Shore highway several times, which lead them to search the area where Shirran's belongings were hidden.
"It was my action that killed her ... I didn't intend to kill her," Folker said.
Folker, from Nova Scotia, has been released on bail since December 2010. Folker's defence team made a surprise move on the second day of his second-degree murder trial by saying, on behalf of their client, that Shirran died as a result of a physical altercation between the two on July 18, 2010.
The defence also conceded that Folker dumped her body in a wooded area near Cappahayden, hid her belongings off Blackhead Road, and lied to police about these actions.
CBC reporter Ariana Kelland filed live updates from the courthouse.