FREDERICTON – A New Brunswick Court of Appeal justice reserved a decision Tuesday after hearing arguments in the case of a man convicted of murdering his 16-year-old cousin.
Curtis Bonnell was found guilty of first-degree murder in 2012, but in the appeal court his lawyer argued the trial judge should have related the evidence to a possible finding of manslaughter in the judge’s instructions to the jury.
Bonnell is appealing his conviction.
Pam Fillier, Hilary’s mother, was in the courtroom to hear the appeal.
“I’m confident that he’s not coming out,” she said.
During the trial, the Crown alleged he picked up Hilary Bonnell on a rural stretch of road near the Esgenoopetitj (Es-geh-no-peh-titch) First Nation on Sept. 5, 2009, sexually assaulted her and killed her.
Court heard that Curtis Bonnell was arrested in November 2009 and led police to a remote site where the girl’s body had been buried.
During interviews with police, Bonnell said he killed his cousin, but he offered a different version of events at his trial.
He testified that he woke up after a night of alcohol and drugs to find Hilary dead next to him in his pickup truck, panicked and buried her.
With files from Global News reporter Laura Brown
© The Canadian Press, 2014