Nova Scotia

James Landry admits to police he shot Phillip Boudreau

The 67-year-old Cape Breton fisherman accused of murdering Phillip Boudreau admitted to police that he shot the man, according to a taped statement played Wednesday to a Nova Scotia Supreme Court jury in Port Hawkesbury.

Cape Breton fisherman faces 2nd-degree murder charge

Phillip Boudreau, 43, of Petit-de-Grat was last seen on June 1, 2013. A deckhand on board the fishing boat the Twin Maggies is on trial in Port Hawkesbury, N.S., charged with second-degree murder. (Facebook)

The 67-year-old Cape Breton fisherman accused of murdering Phillip Boudreau admitted to police that he shot the man, according to a taped statement played Wednesday to a Nova Scotia Supreme Court jury in Port Hawkesbury.

Police interviewed Joseph James Landry a week after Boudreau disappeared. Boudreau's overturned boat was found at the mouth of Petit-de-Grat harbour early on the morning of June 1, 2013.

At the time of the taping, Landry had just been charged with second-degree murder. He has since pleaded not guilty.

Landry, a crew member with the Twin Maggies fishing vessel, at first denies involvement in the crime. 

In the video, a police investigator says he has an overwhelming amount of physical evidence, including Boudreau's boat, motor and boots. The officer says he knows Boudreau was poaching for years and cutting traps.

Finally, in a low voice, Landry admits he fired four shots at Boudreau's boat. He also admits running over Boudreau's boat and later offers to take officers to the gun he used.

Landry says he regrets the killing, but adds that someone had to do it. He says Boudreau had been making fun of him for 15 years and threatened to burn his house.

'He came from nowhere in the fog'

In another tape shown to the jury on Tuesday, Landry is seen telling an RCMP officer that Boudreau confronted his fishing crew and threatened to cut their lobster fishing gear while they were on the water on May 31, 2013.

"He came from nowhere in the fog. He hit the bow of the boat," said Landry, often waving his hand as he spoke to the investigator. "And then he turned around and he hit it again."

Landry told the RCMP that on the next day, he woke up at 3 a.m. and headed out to sea with his crew to collect their lobster traps but he did not see Boudreau on the water.

"I'm telling you the truth," said Landry. "Why would I lie?"

Landry said after the three-member crew hauled in their lobster traps, they went back to the wharf in Petit-de-Grat.

"And that's my story," he said.

'This is not a tea party, this is a murder trial'

What Landry told police contradicts the story told by witness Craig Landry on Monday.

Craig Landry also said in court that the Twin Maggies rammed Boudreau's boat several times that day before Boudreau was hooked with a gaff. But Craig Landry later said he did not actually see Joseph James Landry use the gaff to drag Boudreau out to sea and he did not watch as the Twin Maggies ran over Boudreau's boat three times, though he heard three thuds.

On Tuesday, the defence drilled Craig Landry on his testimony from the day before, asking him why he didn't say anything when Landry allegedly fired shots at Boudreau's boat.

Craig Landry says he was so frightened, he soiled himself.

Craig Landry, who is the accused's third cousin, was previously charged with second-degree murder but that was withdrawn. He now faces a charge of accessory after the fact.

Two other people are charged in the case.

The body of the 43-year-old Boudreau has not been found.

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With files from the Canadian Press