'Gruesome' Amber Kirwan murder trial hears from boyfriend
Mason Campbell says he drank, smoked pot the night Kirwan disappeared
Amber Kirwan's boyfriend at the time of her death testified Wednesday in the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia as Crown attorneys continue to outline their case against the New Glasgow woman's accused killer.
Christopher Alexander Falconer, 31, has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder in the 19-year-old's death.
Friends and family surrounded 22-year-old Mason Campbell in court on Wednesday. He took the stand in the afternoon, his voice shaking as he introduced himself.
He said Kirwan was not only his girlfriend, but his best friend. The pair moved in together in July 2011.
Crown attorney Bill Gorman asked Campbell to retrace the steps of his final night with Kirwan. Campbell told the court he smoked marijuana and so did she.
Campbell testified that because he was drunk, high and driving illegally with no insurance or registration, he asked Kirwan to meet him away from Dooly's pool hall — where she had gone with her friends — because he was worried about police being in front of the popular bar.
He told the court he asked his girlfriend to go down the street to Big Al's Convenience to meet him.
"Did you see her?" asked Gorman.
"No," Campbell replied.
Video surveillance shown
The last time Kirwan's friends saw her, she was walking down the street after leaving Dooly's.
The video surveillance of that walk has been shown in court to all of Kirwan's friends testifying.
"I think the significance of that evidence is that that is the last piece of real evidence that we have showing Amber Kirwan alive to her family and friends," Gorman told reporters outside the courtroom.
Eight of the teenager's friends, including Campbell, have taken the witness stand so far. They've been supporting each other, said Crown attorney Patrick Young.
"They were nervous," he said Wednesday.
"We're bringing up painful memories for them and we know that and so understandably, it was very difficult for them to talk about."
Earlier on Wednesday, four of them identified a series of photos of dirty and torn items of clothing, and of a pair of feathered earrings as being worn by Kirwan when she was last seen.
Mike Taylor, the defence lawyer, said from his standpoint it was a slow day on the bench.
"The evidence is coming out about as I expected. A lot of the witnesses we heard from today had a lot to say that was similar to one another so there wasn't a whole lot of discrepancy," he told reporters.
Campbell will complete his questioning with the Crown first thing Thursday morning, followed by a cross examination.
Shocking details revealed
On Tuesday, Crown attorney Bill Gorman revealed one shocking detail after another in his opening statement in the murder trial.
He said Kirwan’s body was found naked, muddy and face down in a shallow grave in November 2011, nearly a month after her disappearance.
Goreman said her wrists were tied and there were signs she fought back. She was also stabbed multiple times.
"Cause of death, exsanguination," said Goreman. "She bled to death."
Police got a break in the case, after a couple walking their dog in Heathbell found pieces of clothing and jewelry.
Crown attorneys said the rest can only be described in one word.
"Gruesome. She died a horrible death," said Goreman.
On Tuesday it was also revealed that Kirwan had codeine in her system.
The court heard that a water bottle filled with codeine was found in a trailer on the Heathbell property of Falconer's stepsister.
The Crown said more evidence of codeine, along with blood and both Falconer's and Kirwan's DNA were found in a 2001 Chevrolet Impala. They argued it's the car Falconer had been driving in the fall of 2011.
Parents describe 'timid' woman
Remaining composed, Amber's mother Majorie Kirwan took the stand earlier this week to describe her daughter.
"Amber was timid. She was not a risk-taker. Amber was scared to walk alone," she said.
Kirwan went on to say she feels "sick" about what happened to her only daughter.
Amber Kirwan's father and two friends testified next.
The friends were upset as they recounted their night of drinking, dancing and laughing with the teen in the hours before her disappearance.
Kirwan's parents will not be asked to take the stand again, so they have been permitted to sit in court for the rest of the trial.
It is scheduled to last until Jan. 31.