Nova Scotia

Rope and tarp found in vehicle Garnier was driving, Catherine Campbell murder trial told

Yellow rope, tape, a green tarp and a new pair of work gloves were found in the vehicle accused murderer Christopher Garnier was driving when he was arrested during the investigation into Catherine Campbell's death, a Halifax police officer testified Wednesday.

WARNING: This story and live blog may contain graphic details

Truro police officer Catherine Campbell was killed in September 2015 and her body found near the Macdonald Bridge in Halifax. (CBC)

Yellow rope, tape, a green tarp and a new pair of work gloves were found in the vehicle accused murderer Christopher Garnier was driving when he was arrested during the investigation into Catherine Campbell's death, a Halifax police officer testified Wednesday.

Sgt. Kenneth Burton told a Nova Scotia Supreme Court jury he was part of the team that had Garnier's Clayton Park home under surveillance the night of Sept. 15, 2015, when he saw a man get into a Ford Edge and drive to the Macdonald Bridge before returning home.

The Crown alleges Garnier had dumped Campbell's body under the bridge several days earlier after he strangled her in a nearby Halifax apartment.

Christopher Garnier is charged with second-degree murder. (Andrew Vaughan/Canadian Press)

The vehicle was subsequently stopped and Garnier was arrested. In addition to the tarp and other items in the front passenger seat, Burton said a brown blanket was in the back seat.

The officer said he didn't know what line of work Garnier was in and whether any of the items could be used in that job.

Witness says he saw Garnier struggling with bin

Garnier, 29, is on trial for second-degree murder in the death of Campbell, an off-duty Truro, N.S., police officer, and interfering with a dead body. He has pleaded not guilty to both charges.

Another witness testified Wednesday that he watched Garnier struggle with a green bin as he rolled it to the Macdonald Bridge. David Yeo went onto his second-floor balcony for a coffee and cigarette early on Sept. 11, 2015, hours after Campbell was last seen alive. 

David Yeo testified he saw a man 'struggling' with a compost bin on Barrington Street in the early-morning hours of Sept. 11, 2015. Yeo was having a cigarette on his second-floor balcony, which overlooks the street. (J. Vincent Walsh/For CBC)

Two other witnesses have said they saw a man moving a green bin in the area, but Yeo is the first to identify the man as Garnier. He said he watched for 10 minutes as the man struggled with the bin, swearing and "having a grand time" getting it to a line of trees under the bridge. 

Yeo said Garnier did something with the bin, though he couldn't see what. A few moments later, he watched Garnier head back up the hill away from the bridge, swinging the bin as though it no longer had much weight in it. 

Yeo thought the man looked disoriented and found his actions strange. 

Defence suggests death was accidental

Another officer who was part of the surveillance team testified Tuesday that Garnier paused for about 10 seconds near the Macdonald Bridge before driving off.

On the night she died, Campbell met Garnier at the Alehouse, a Halifax bar, and the pair later went to an apartment on McCully Street, the court has heard.

On Tuesday, defence lawyer Joel Pink suggested that consensual choking during sex played a role in Campbell's death, which he called "accidental."

Medical examiner Matthew Bowes has testified Campbell was strangled and had black eyes and a broken nose when her body was found.

Blair Rhodes was live blogging from court. Mobile users can click here to see the day's blog

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