A trial was held Monday for a woman charged in connection with the desecration of a three-year-old boy’s grave at Oakland Cemetery in Brockville.
Katherine Collins pleaded not guilty to charges of performing an indecent act, videotaping the act and failing to comply with an existing probation order.
The charges stem from a video which surfaced last spring showing what appears to be a woman urinating on a grave while another individual throws a beer can at the headstone.
That video was front and centre as the prosecution tries to prove that Collins is the one behind the camera while the defence suggests there’s no way to tell the accused was even present, as she is never seen on camera.
The grave belongs to Graysen Gemperle, a three-year-old boy born with health complications, who died in December of 2013.
His mother, Alisha Tackaberry, took the stand and described an on again and off again friendship with the accused. She testified that the woman laughing in the video is Collins, telling the judge:
“She thinks everything is a joke and that anything evil is funny,” said Tackaberry.
The 27-year-old, who is seven months pregnant, was visibly upset as the crown replayed the video several times in the courtroom.
Copies of text messages between a Crown witness and Collins suggest that the accused was out shopping in Kingston last week looking for a “Cruella de Vil” type of outfit for her first court appearance, she allegedly also tried to bribe the witness.
Those messages were turned over a day before the trial and read allowed in court by the woman who received them, Kate Lynch.
“If I get off and sue I will throw you some money for loyalty.”
The messages went on to suggest that the witness tell the crown, Claudette Breault, the video came from a “fake facebook account.”
Lynch is the one who sent the video to the boy’s uncle Jordan Tackaberry, a move the defence suggests was done out of jealousy.
“You sent the video to Jordan (Tackaberry) because you were mad she (Kate Collins) was dating your ex-boyfriend,” said defence lawyer Neha Chugh.
After the Tackaberry family received the video, they reported it to the Leeds County OPP.
Collins has entered a not guilty plea while the co-accused in the case recently entered into a peace bond. The Crown struck the deal because the video evidence was too grainy and hard to determine if Haley Peyman was the one desecrating the grave.
A date for the judge’s ruling hasn’t been set.