Nova Scotia

Dal student accused of murder says victim was a no-show at final meeting

A police interview with William Sandeson was played in Nova Scotia Supreme Court on Monday. In it, he describes a drug deal the two were negotiating, but says the victim didn't show up for a final meeting.

22-year-old Taylor Samson's body has never been found

William Sandeson is charged with first-degree murder in the death of fellow Dalhousie student Taylor Samson. (Darren Calabrese/The Canadian Press)

The jury in the first-degree murder trial of Dalhousie University student William Sandeson heard from the accused in his own words Monday.

Sandeson is charged in the August 2015 death of fellow Dalhousie student Taylor Samson, whose body has never been found. Sandeson is on trial in Nova Scotia Supreme Court in Halifax.

The Crown played a videotape of a Halifax police interview with Sandeson following Samson's disappearance when it was still a missing person's case and before police declared it a homicide. 

Police found Sandeson through the last number retrieved from Samson's phone, although the phone itself was never recovered.

Soft interview room

When contacted by police, Sandeson agreed to go to the Halifax police station to tell them what he knew about the missing man.

Murder victim Taylor Samson, 22, was reported missing on Aug. 16, 2015. (Halifax Regional Police)

RCMP Sgt. Charla Keddy took the man to what she described as a "soft" interview room, with couches and an unlocked door.

On the video, Sandeson told Keddy he last saw Samson on the previous Thursday.

He said they met to discuss a possible drug deal but Sandeson told Samson he wasn't impressed with the samples the other man showed him.

He also told police that Samson promised to find better quality drugs and they made plans to meet that Saturday. Sandeson told Keddy that meeting never took place.

Victim allegedly never showed up for meeting

He said Samson texted him late Saturday night to say he was right outside. But Sandeson says when he went outside, there was nobody there.

In his interview with Keddy, Sandeson said he deleted the text app from his phone because he was afraid all the texts about a potential drug deal could get him in trouble. Keddy told the court that she assured Sandeson that wasn't the case, that they were trying to solve a missing person's case.

Keddy persuaded Sandeson to re-install the NextPlus messaging app on his phone. He did and was able to retrieve texts from around the time Samson disappeared.

Sandeson showed police text messages he said he exchanged with Samson, including one he sent after they failed to meet up. That text to Samson read: "This isn't cool man."

Text messages that Sandeson said he exchanged with Samson were introduced as evidence in court on Monday. The green texts are from Sandeson. (CBC)

The jury will resume hearing evidence on Thursday. Lawyers will spend the intervening time preparing arguments on issues raised by Justice Josh Arnold.

The trial, scheduled for 32 days, is entering its second week. 

The CBC's Blair Rhodes live blogged from court.

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