Nova Scotia

Christopher Garnier appeals murder conviction in death of Catherine Campbell

Christopher Garnier has filed an appeal of his second-degree murder conviction in the death of off-duty Truro, N.S., police officer Catherine Campbell.

Garnier found guilty by a jury in December in off-duty police officer's death

Christopher Garnier is appealing his murder conviction. (CBC)

Christopher Garnier is appealing his conviction for second-degree murder in the death of off-duty Truro, N.S., police officer Catherine Campbell. 

The 30-year-old man filed an appeal earlier this week from the Central Nova Scotia Correctional Centre in Burnside, where he is being held.

Catherine Campbell, an off-duty police officer, was strangled and her body dumped in a green bin on Sept. 11, 2015. (CBC)

Garnier was found guilty by a 12-member jury in Nova Scotia Supreme Court on Dec. 21. The jury deliberated for less than five hours before coming back with a guilty verdict. Garnier was also found guilty of improperly interfering with Campbell's body. 

Her remains were found on Sept. 16, 2015, in thick brush near Halifax's Macdonald Bridge. The Crown said Garnier had punched and strangled the 36-year-old woman at a Halifax apartment five days earlier, just hours after they met for the first time at a downtown bar.

Defence lawyer Joel Pink represented Garnier during his murder trial. He is not currently representing Garnier. (CBC)

Justice Josh Arnold sentenced Garnier to life in prison and will deal with parole eligibility at a May 7 court hearing. 

A conviction for second-degree murder carries an automatic life sentence. Parole eligibility can range from 10 to 25 years.

In his notice of appeal, Garnier said his rights were violated under Section 7 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

He also said Arnold was wrong to say the second statement he gave police was free and voluntary. Garnier said the judge should have allowed the jury to hear from a defence expert on interrogations, Dr. Tim Moore.

Garnier also said Arnold's final instructions to the jury were so "complicated and convoluted that no ordinary juror would be able to understand."

Garnier was represented during the trial by Halifax defence lawyers Joel Pink and Nicola Watson. Pink told CBC Thursday that he is not currently representing Garnier on his appeal, but that could change.