Preliminary inquiry starts in alleged murder of Catherine Campbell

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Preliminary inquiry starts in murder of Catherine Campbell
A Nova Scotia man accused of murdering an off duty police officer last fall is back in court. The preliminary hearing for Christopher Garnier officially got underway at Halifax Provincial Court on Monday. Global's Natasha Pace reports – Jul 11, 2016

The preliminary inquiry of a man accused of killing an off-duty Nova Scotia police officer began Monday with the Crown saying it plans to call 10 or 11 witnesses.

Christopher Calvin Garnier is charged with second-degree murder in the death of Truro officer Catherine Campbell.

READ MORE: Court documents detail Catherine Campbell’s death

Garnier appeared in Halifax provincial court wearing a blue suit and a pink dress shirt, and members of both his and Campbell’s families also were in the tightly packed room.

The 28-year-old Halifax resident was charged with second-degree murder and interfering with a dead body after Campbell’s remains were found last Sept. 16 near the base of an overpass leading to a Halifax bridge.

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The 36-year-old woman had served as a Truro police constable for six years before her death.

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A publication ban has been placed upon all evidence discussed at the preliminary hearing.

A sworn affidavit from an RCMP officer obtained prior to the hearing says Garnier allegedly told police he punched and strangled Campbell at an apartment in the city.

Police have said that early in the morning of Sept. 11, Garnier was recorded on surveillance video rolling a green bin down a city street in his bare feet, returning half hour later with no green bin.

The RCMP officer who swore the affidavit said he believed the video showed Garnier attempting to remove evidence and Campbell’s body from the scene.

The documents allege the key to a vehicle and a gym membership tag, both belonging to Campbell, were found in a dumpster within 30 metres of the address, where Garnier’s friend lives.

It also said blood evidence was found on the floor and wall of the family room at the McCully Street address as well as on the pull-out sofa and the door handles of the cleaning supplies cabinet.

The allegations have not been proven in court.

Both Crown lawyer Christine Driscoll and defence lawyer Joel Pink said in court that Garnier has agreed there was sufficient evidence for the case to proceed to a full trial.

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However, Driscoll said outside court that a preliminary hearing is nonetheless proceeding to allow the defence to test and examine some of the evidence that will be presented at trial.

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