Disturbing content found on accused killer's phone and laptop, Edson murder trial hears

The jury in a first-degree murder trial in Hinton has heard from RCMP experts who examined accused killer Tyrell Perron's phone and laptop, uncovering disturbing contents.

Warning: Graphic details

Tyrell Perron, 23, is charged with first-degree murder and offering an indignity to a dead body. (RCMP/Court exhibit)

Accused killer Tyrell Perron created a Gmail account for himself using the name "darknovabliss," a trial was told Monday.

What RCMP found when they searched the contents of his cell phone and laptop was much darker than his username.

Perron, 23, is charged with the first-degree murder of a 14-year-old Edson, Alta. girl who can only be identified by her initials D.H. due to a court-ordered publication ban.

The Crown has told the jury in the Hinton, Alta. Court of Queen's Bench court room that in the early morning hours on March 4, 2016, Perron stabbed D.H. repeatedly in the neck, suffocated her with a pillow, then sexually assaulted her. He is also charged with offering an indignity to a dead body.

RCMP Cpl. Jamie Thoreson, an expert in the acquisition, examination and analysis of digital evidence, testified that investigators seized Perron's laptop and cell phone shortly after his arrest on the day of the killing, but didn't order a thorough analysis of the contents until three months later.

Laptop seized by RCMP after Tyrell Perron's arrest. (Janice Johnston/CBC News )

A person with the username Tyrel Festerrot was the only active user on the laptop and that the last time he logged off was 10 hours before D.H. was killed, Thoreson testified.

Thoreson found two videos on the computer that he said featured "a rape theme." Both downloaded videos were time-stamped in November 2015.

The first video "shows a man performing a sexual act with an unconscious woman," while the second video "shows a man drugging a woman and then performing sexual acts on her while she is apparently unconscious," Thoreson told the jury.

During cross-examination, defence lawyer Derek Anderson suggested the presence of the videos on the laptop was not proof someone had watched them.

Thoreson agreed that it was possible someone could have been distracted or walked away while the videos were playing.

Thoreson also examined a cell phone that was seized by RCMP. He testified the device owner was listed as "Tyrell" and the list of contacts included his alleged victim, D.H.

The web history revealed "rape porn" visits and there was an internet search done on the phone referring to the "torture" of a teen that was time-stamped Feb. 3, 2016, Thoreson said.

D.H.'s cell phone was also examined by RCMP digital experts and showed a series of increasingly frantic messages to her phone hours after she died.

At 10:35 that morning, her grandmother texted "Answer your phone now." A few hours later, her grandmother begged "Call me." Two minutes later, a person whose name has been redacted from the exhibit texted "I love you. Please text back one letter. All I need. Please."

By that night, word had spread throughout Edson that D.H. was dead.

A boy identified by the name Dylan in the court exhibit texted "I can't believe you're gone. It feels like just yesterday I was holding you in my arms as we told each other how much we love one another … I'd do anything just to see you one last time."

Jury hears DNA evidence

DNA analysis was completed on 15 exhibits in the case. On Monday, DNA expert Dr. Melanie Green told the jury about her findings.

The blood-stained t-shirt worn by Tyrell Perron. DNA testing revealed the victim's blood on the clothing. (RCMP/Court exhibit )

Blood on Perron's T-shirt was tested and was a match to D.H., she said. The jury was told there's a one in 70 quintillion chance it was not her blood.

A folding knife was found under the couch cushion where D.H was attacked, and forensic specialists found blood on one side of the blade near the tip and on one side of the handle.

Once again, Green determined there was a one in 70 quintillion chance it was not D.H.'s blood.

The alleged murder weapon was tested for DNA. The victim's blood matched the samples AA and AB, while the accused's DNA was found on the handle of the knife, noted as sample AC. (RCMP/Court exhibit )

Biological material found on the handle of the knife had a one in 140 quadrillion chance it wasn't Perron's DNA, Green testified.

The jury was told "intimate samples" taken from the victim also matched the accused killer's DNA.

The trial continues Tuesday in Hinton.


Janice Johnston is an award-winning journalist in Edmonton who has covered the courts and crime for more than two decades. You can reach her at janice.johnston@cbc.ca or on Twitter at @cbcjanjohnston