Tosha Hubler’s defence of duress over fear of husband Jason Hubler, whom she says killed a senior to steal his truck, took a hit on Tuesday when Jason’s lawyer produced several love letters she later wrote to him in jail.
David Chow attacked Tosha Hubler under cross-examination for making up her story about Jason ambushing and brutally killing Rino (Ray) Johnson, 77, when he came to their rented Bridgeland home to buy tools on Jan. 30,
Tosha Hubler denied concocting the story and maintained her position that she still feared her husband for some time after the homicide, but said she renewed her love for him while at the Calgary Remand Centre a few months
That’s when she wrote several steamy letters, in June and July 2009, that included romantic poetry and drawings and pleaded for him to not commit suicide. She also talked about taking Bible classes.
"Jay I love you and will always be with you in mind, body and soul, and that will never change and I want you to remember that always please," she wrote in an undated letter.
"Jay promise me right here and now that you will not take your own life, because that would break my heart and I love you and I know we will get through this mess and I want to be with you so much when this is over so please promise me."
The letters were a complete contrast to the damning evidence she gave during two days of questioning by her lawyer Allan Fay last week. She said he waited at the door of their home and clubbed him repeatedly in the head with two hammock poles taped together, then zapped him with a Taser gun to see if he was still alive.
She alleged she was emotionally and physically abused by Jason for much of their four-year relationship and marriage and she feared he would harm or even kill her if she tried to leave.
Tosha also had testified that she feared the worst for herself if she tried to warn Johnson, a long-time vendor at Hillhurst Sunnyside flea market, of Jason’s alleged plans to kill him, take his money and 2008 GMC Sierra truck.
Both Jason Hubler, 36, and Tosha Hubler, 31, are on trial for first-degree murder and interfering with human remains. She admitted helping Jason stuff Johnson’s body into a wooden trunk and dumping it in a southeast Calgary
industrial area the following night.
Sometime between their arrest, when she said she feared him and a few months later, things changed, according to their in-custody correspondence.
"Baby, when I am sad and missing you I sit and write my thoughts to you, and it makes me feel better," she wrote in one undated letter entered as an exhibit by Chow.
In a July 3, 2009, letter, Tosha Hubler said she knew that they were protected by laws that prevented spouses from incriminating each other.
"I know that I can’t testify against you and you can’t testify against me," she wrote. "I give you my word right now that I will never testify against you, no matter the cost to me."
However, in another jailhouse letter, she said she missed Jason so much but added, "Yes, your cupcake is tuff and stands up for herself now."
Earlier, in her cross-examination, Crown prosecutor Frances Turner did not challenge Tosha’s story of how Jason killed Johnson, but attacked her claim of minimal involvement in the planning or execution of the crime.
Turner also questioned Tosha how she could marry Jason in 2008, despite her intense fear for him after he allegedly emotionally and physically assaulted her for years leading up to the homicide.
However, Tosha agreed she married him anyway because she loved him but reluctantly took part in assisting Jason in the homicide and coverup.
The prosecutor also outlined numerous instances in which Tosha Hubler previously voluntarily went along with her husband and others to commit several crimes for profit: robbery, forging cheques, suing Shaw Cable for injuries that never occurred and other thefts.
One of those forged cheques was also deposited into Tosha’s sister Patti’s bank account at a time when Patti was suffering from a brain tumour, Tosha agreed with Turner.
Tosha Hubler insisted, though, that she was under duress to go along with Jason’s plan when it came to Jason setting up Johnson to visit their rented home and kill him, although she said she never thought he’d go through with it.
She repeated as she told Fay that she never believed Jason would kill the man until just before it happened. By then, she said, she feared that if she tried to tip off Johnson she could end up hurt or dead, too.
Tosha’s sister Patti is expected to testify when the trial before Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Colleen Kenny and jury continues on Wednesday.