Joel Clow acknowledges some responsibility for 2015 death of Traci Lynch
WARNING The details in the story may be disturbing to some
- Joel Clow later pleaded guilty to manslaughter after a previous murder conviction was overturned.
Joel Lawrence Clow, accused of murdering Traci Lynch, has acknowledged some responsibility for her death.
Clow's trial began Monday in P.E.I. Supreme Court.
Crown prosecutor Cindy Wedge read a statement of admissions agreed to by both the prosecution and the defence.
"Joel L. Clow acknowledges his physical acts must be responsible for the unlawful death of Traci Lynch," it states.
Clow has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder. Lynch's remains were found in a wooded area of a rural property in the community of Pleasant Grove in July 2015 by investigators with Queens district RCMP.
According to the statement of admissions, "the actions that resulted in the death of Traci Lynch must have occurred between 12:00 a.m. and 2:30 a.m. on July 24, 2015."
Wedge also told court the prosecution hinges on two issues: that Clow acted with intent, and that forcible confinement did occur.
Details of evening before
The statement of admissions says Clow and Lynch began a relationship in approximately January of 2015. They both lived on Pleasant Grove Road, about 1.2 kms from each other.
On the evening before Lynch's death — July 23, 2015 — Lynch and Clow went to an Atlantic Superstore in Charlottetown, where Clow purchased cat food, apple juice, onions and a mirror. The receipt for that purchase was found in Lynch's house. The mirror was later found broken in the trash at Clow's house.
According to the statement, before going home, Clow and Lynch stopped at the residence of "a reputed drug dealer," and later at a liquor store.
The statement of admissions also marks the times phone calls and text messages were exchanged between Clow and Lynch that day.
Police thought Clow was on drugs
Clow's defence team showed the court a video of Clow's arrest. It shows him rolling on the ground in handcuffs, moaning and shaking.
Court heard one of the arresting officers thought Clow was high on narcotics. But the officer also reported Clow was surprisingly cooperative and compliant, something the officer said is not always seen when dealing with people on hard drugs.
'It was scary,' says neighbour who called 911
Court also heard testimony from the neighbour who called 911.
Chris Strickland told court he called 911 after seeing blood, hair and broken furniture in the front yard of the mini-home where he was staying — which belonged to his mother.
"There was some kind struggle at my home last night," he told the 911 operator on a recording played in court. "There's blood everywhere … somebody was beaten up pretty bad or murdered."
Strickland testified he knew Clow for 30 years. Clow's home was across the road from Strickland's mother's home, where Strickland was staying.
Stickland told court he saw hair and "hammer or axe marks" in the wall of Clow's mini-home, and that the screen door was kicked in.
"It looked like somebody got beat up and was dragged," he testified. "It was scary."
Clow's trial is being heard by judge alone and is slated to run three weeks.
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With files from Brian Higgins