'The best way to sacrifice is to break their neck': Bizarre testimony in Edson murder trial

Day four of the Tyrell Perron first-degree murder trial in Hinton focused on the love life of the 14-year-old victim in the last two months of her life.

Warning: Graphic details

The living room couch where 14-year-old D.H. was killed March 4, 2016. (RCMP/Court exhibit)

Testimony at Tyrell Perron's first-degree murder trial in Edson, Alta. on Thursday focused on the love life of the 14-year-old female victim.

One witness was Jeremy Kolish, a man the girl once lived with. The other witness, Skyler Belcourt, was possibly the last person, other than her killer, to see her alive.

The victim's name is protected by a court-ordered publication ban. She can only be identified by her initials, D.H.

Perron, 23, is charged with her first-degree murder. The jury has been told he stabbed D.H. repeatedly in the neck on March 4, 2016 in an Edson apartment suite.

The jury has been told Perron smothered the girl with a pillow, then sexually assaulted her. Perron is also charged with offering an indignity to a dead body.

Belcourt, now 20, testified he only knew D.H. for a week before she was killed. On the last night she was alive, they met at a playground in Edson.

Text messages entered into evidence show that Belcourt, identified by the username "Cutie!!!*", texted D.H. at 11:40 p.m. on March 3, 2016 to say, "Hey what's up?" He asked to meet her in half an hour and she agreed.

Skyler Belcourt testified he met D.H. only a week before she died. (Alberta RCMP)

Belcourt testified they spent about an hour in the playground, sitting on a bench, smoking cigarettes and talking.

When Belcourt was interviewed by RCMP the day after the murder, he said D.H. got a text while they were together, then stood up and asked him to walk her to a party. He said he walked her to the home of a man named Jeremy. Belcourt said he was introduced to Jeremy, gave D.H. a hug and said goodbye.

Shortly after they parted, D.H. texted Belcourt to say, "I had a good night seeing you." At 3:27 a.m., she wrote, "Have a good night. I'm going to bed. Text me when you wake up. Night cutie."

The jury has been told another person in the apartment where she was sleeping heard her screams just over an hour later, at 4:40 a.m.

'He said he was a witch'

Belcourt told RCMP he had met D.H.'s friend Jeremy once before, when he was with some friends.

"That Jeremy kid walked in and he just sat down," Belcourt said. "He was just sitting there doing this weird hand gesture."

Belcourt said Jeremy told him he needed to concentrate because he was doing a ritual. Belcourt wanted to know why.

"He said he was a witch. He just said the only way to sacrifice is they have to be, well, not young, but they're either like a virgin …The best way to sacrifice is to break their neck."

Belcourt told RCMP the story was significant to him because D.H. was living with Jeremy at the time.

'Cuddle buddy'

When Jeremy Kolish testified Thursday, he was asked to describe his relationship with the much younger D.H.

"We were definitely good acquaintances and whatnot," he said. "We were definitely seeing each other for a little bit there."

The 25-year-old said he began "seeing" D.H. in January 2016 in a relationship that lasted six to eight weeks. Kolish told the jury D.H. moved into his condo, but admitted the relationship was difficult.

Jeremy Kolish as he heads into the Hinton courthouse to testify at the Tyrell Perron first-degree murder trial. (Janice Johnston/CBC News)

"She just wasn't listening to rules," Kolish testified. "She'd be coming home at one in the morning drunk. My rules were be home by nine, get ready for school in the morning."

D.H. was in Grade 9 at the time. Kolish was 22 years old.

Defence lawyer Derek Anderson asked, "You weren't concerned about the age difference?"

"I definitely was, but what makes you happy makes you happy," Kolish answered.

He admitted he was also concerned about the criminal consequences of their relationship, but described D.H. as being his "cuddle buddy."

"That's really all we were," Kolish said. "We got along. We understood each other. She would sleep in the same bed and that's that. Just sleeping."

Without going into detail, Kolish indicated the relationship ended badly.

He said he had just moved to Fort McMurray when he got the news that D.H. was dead.

"I was really sad," Kolish said. "I never got a chance to say goodbye. There were some things I said to her I wish I hadn't. I never got a chance to say sorry."

In testimony that appeared to conflict with what court heard earlier, Kolish said he thought he had moved away from Edson a few days before D.H. was murdered. But he unable to pinpoint the exact day.

'I'm not some sick guy'

Kolish was friends with the accused and said he met with Perron the night before he moved away.

"We definitely had a heart-to-heart," Kolish told the jury. "We just hung out and we had a good little cry, too."

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

Kolish testified Perron told him he was ready to snap and tired of a lot of things.

The defence lawyer asked Kolish, "Did you ever tell anyone about a sacrifice situation involving a young girl or a virgin and breaking her neck?"

"No," Kolish said emphatically. "That's pretty much what Tyrell said the night before he helped me move."

"I'm not some sick guy," he added.

"I don't think he would have done it, but I guess he did," Kolish said on the witness stand.

The trial continues.

About the Author

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