Amber Kirwan's DNA found in Chris Falconer's camper, court told
Thomas Suzanski testifies forensic evidence links victim and accused
A DNA expert made a connection between Amber Kirwan and Chris Falconer Thursday at Falconer’s murder trial in the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia in Pictou.
Thomas Suzanski tested more than 250 samples of DNA for the investigation. A few matched Kirwan and one matched Falconer.
Kirwan’s DNA was found on a piece of black cloth and duct tape in a camper trailer on Hardwood Hill Road in Pictou County.
Suzanski testified he also found her DNA on a stained black tank top found in a plastic bag in Falconer’s car. After four tests, he also found a positive match on it for Falconer. A third, unknown, person's DNA was also found.
It's pretty clear that there's DNA on that tank top that could lead to the conclusion that someone else is involved. - Defence lawyer Mike Taylor
The camper property is owned by Falconer’s step-sister and he sometimes slept there. He also kept clothing in the camper.
Kirwan's body was later discovered in a shallow grave nearby in Heathbell.
Bill Gorman, the Crown attorney, said the evidence was another piece of the puzzle.
"The conclusions that he made were those that we were aware of going in. It's just another piece of evidence as part of our overall presentation of the case," he said outside the court.
Mike Taylor, the defence lawyer, had doubts about where the DNA came from, who contributed it and who placed it there.
"Obviously the Crown wants the jury to draw the conclusion that Mr. Falconer was in contact with that tank top at the relevant time, but it's pretty clear that there's DNA on that tank top that could lead to the conclusion that someone else is involved," he said.
Falconer, 31, is on trial for the charge of first-degree murder over the 2011 death of Kirwan, 19.
Falconer has pleaded not guilty.
Deno Miller also testified Thursday. He told the court Falconer brought him beer on the day Kirwan was reported missing. Miller said a second man was with Falconer, but he did not know him.
Tomorrow, more of Falconer's friends and former girlfriends will take the stand.
Former lover says Falconer asked her to lie
On Wednesday, 13 jury members heard testimony from Falconer's former lover.
Jerrika Ebrahim told the court Falconer asked her to lie if police questioned her about his whereabouts the night Kirwan disappeared.
She testified on the night of Oct. 8, 2011, Falconer was supposed to come over to her house. At 5:05 a.m. the following morning he texted her to say, "Sorry to make you wait. Something came up. I'm at dad's now."
She asked him if he was coming over and he said, "Not for a bit." Ebrahim says she didn't see Falconer until supper time on Oct. 9, 2011.
On cross examination,Falconer's attorney Mike Taylor grilled Ebrahim about her foggy memory around the time Kirwan disappeared.
Ebrahim said Falconer didn’t make it clear what dates he wanted her to lie about.
“When you have a witness who is changing their evidence or giving different answers at different times for whatever reason, the jury has to consider whether that has an impact on their overall credibility in relation to key evidence,” said Taylor.