'Tell my momma that I'd like to hear from her': Jury hears daughter's note to accused killer
Final Facebook messages between mother and daughter read aloud on day 2 of murder trial
When Renée Peters became "friends" with Daniel Alphonse Paul on Facebook, she wanted him to feel like "part of the family," a B.C. Supreme Court jury heard Tuesday.
Peters told the court she just wanted her mom to be happy and that initially, she was supportive of her mom's new relationship with Paul.
Peters recounted these details as part of her testimony in the second-degree murder trial against Daniel Paul, who is accused of killing Peters' mother, 36-year-old Rose Paul.
The victim's body was discovered in the accused's East Vancouver basement suite in March 2015.
Paul has pleaded not guilty.
Peters, the oldest of Rose Paul's five children, took the stand in a black shirt with a subtle floral pattern. The 22-year-old college student spoke softly when replying to questions from the prosecution and defence.
Crown counsel asked Peters to recount her memories of her mom and Daniel Paul together — about the time she saw her mom with Paul in Vancouver in March 2014 and realized they were starting to date, and about the time she heard he was planning to move into their house in Shxw'owhamel, one of eight member nations of the Stó:lō Tribal Council.
Peters told the court the last time she saw Daniel Paul in person was when she learned her mom was moving in with him in Vancouver. After the move, Peters said she stayed in touch with her mom almost daily over Facebook and iMessage.
Those conversations were put on display in court, in the form of exhibit five: Facebook chat logs, coil bound and handed out to the 12 jurors. The logs included Peters' conversations with her mom — and with Daniel Paul.
'I love you my sweet, forever and ever'
The logs gave short spurts of insight into the everyday conversations between a mother and daughter — chatting about the Dirty Dancing soundtrack, Grandma, Peters' pregnancy.
"I love you my sweet, forever and ever," read one message from Paul to her daughter. A Winnie the Pooh reference, Peters told the court.
Those everyday conversations ended on Jan. 29, 2015 with a message about salted crackers.
When her mom stopped replying, Peters continued sending messages for weeks. The last message mentioned by Crown counsel was on March 2, 2015, the day before Rose Paul's body was discovered in Daniel Paul's basement suite.
Crown then turned its attention to Peters' Facebook messages with Daniel Paul.
Crown prosecutor Daniel Mulligan read a message from Feb. 18, 2015: "Can you tell my momma that I'd like to hear from her, please and thank you. I haven't heard from her since January the 29th."
"Holy, really. K. I'll tell her when she wakes," read the reply.
Then, Feb. 20, 2015, Peters sent Paul a message saying that family was thinking about filing a missing person's report. Paul replied, giving an elaborate response and saying her mom would be in touch the following week.
But, Peters told the court, her mom never did get in touch.
'I just wanted her to be happy'
Defence counsel spent a short period of time questioning Peters — asking for clarification on some of the testimony she had already given, like the time she allegedly saw Daniel Paul intoxicated.
Defence also asked about a time when Peters said her mom came home with bruises — how Rose Paul allegedly made a reference about being drunk and clumsy to her daughter.
"Did you see her while... she was at the reserve on the Stó:lō nation, ever drunk?"
"Yes," Peters replied.
"Did your mother have a drinking problem. And when I say a drinking problem, I mean… a problem with using alcohol?"
"Yes," said Peters.
The defence ended its cross-examination by circling back to the "friendship" between Peters and Daniel Paul on Facebook.
"You said that you wanted to welcome him into the family.... I suppose you were feeling good about the fact that he and your mom had…got together."
"I just wanted her to be happy," said Peters.
The trial is scheduled to continue Wednesday morning.