Police reopen Chelsie Probert investigation after accused testifies

The teen accused of killing Chelsie Probert has now spent more than a day and a half testifying in the second-degree murder trial in Halifax.

New evidence was shown to the accused on a lunch break during Monday's trial

A 17-year-old boy is accused of stabbing Chelsie Probert on a path near Farrell Street in Dartmouth, N.S., on June 6, 2017. Probert was taken to hospital, where she later died. (J. Albert Walker Funeral Home)

The teen accused of killing Chelsie Probert was shown new evidence during a break in the second-degree murder trial Monday, though it remains unclear what that information is.

The boy testified Friday in Halifax youth court, giving his version of what happened on June 6, 2017 when Probert was attacked on a path in north-end Dartmouth.

Something the boy said during his testimony prompted police to reopen their investigation over the weekend and hand over new evidence to lawyers on Sunday.

The Crown objected Monday to the evidence being shared with the accused while he's testifying but Judge Elizabeth Buckle sided with the defence, ruling the teen's right to give a complete answer outweighs any other consideration.

The teen, who cannot be named because he was 16 when he was charged, was shown the new evidence over the lunch hour Monday. When the case resumed in the afternoon, the defence only asked him to confirm whether he is right- or left-handed. He is left-handed.

After a full afternoon of cross-examination by the Crown, it is still not clear what the new evidence might be.

At one point Monday, the teen emphatically denied a suggestion by the Crown that he owned a "fish gutter" as a weapon.

The device has been mentioned repeatedly during the trial but has always been referred to as a corkscrew. The teen admitted to having the tool but maintained he only used it to work on his bike and not as a weapon.

The accused has insisted a man he was hanging out with that night is the actual assailant. The teen has testified that after the killing, the man threatened to kill him and his girlfriend if he told anybody about what happened that night. The man is the Crown's key witness and has already testified. 

The Crown and the teenager also sparred Monday over how much alcohol was consumed that night.

The teen testified he was badgered into drinking two shots of Fireball whisky, but the drink's cinnamon flavour made him sick. He testified the two males he was with that night both drank more of the whisky than he did and ended up drunk.

The Crown then replayed security video from buildings in the area near the stabbing. Those videos showed all three males walking with no visible signs of impairment.

Before Probert was attacked, the teen testified that his friend dared him to scare a man they saw walking along the same path. The teen told court that he pulled a bandana over his face and took both the corkscrew and knife.

The teen said he approached the man and demanded his belongings. When the man refused, the teen said he replied, "OK, you can go."

The teen told the Crown even if the man had offered his belongings he had no intention of taking them.

The cross-examination resumes Tuesday.

About the Author

Blair Rhodes

Reporter

Blair Rhodes has been a journalist for more than 35 years, the last 27 with CBC. His primary focus is on stories of crime and public safety. He can be reached at blair.rhodes@cbc.ca