‘I could hear her take her last breaths’: Jury watches Christopher Garnier police interrogation video
The seven-man, seven-woman jury hearing the second-degree murder trial of Christopher Garnier is spending Wednesday watching an interrogation video taken shortly after Garnier was arrested for murder.
The Crown alleges Garnier, 30, struck Catherine Campbell on the head and strangled her at an apartment on McCully Street in the early morning hours of Sept. 11, 2015. According to the Crown, Garnier then placed Campbell’s body in a green bin and wheeled it through the streets of Halifax before disposing of it under the Macdonald Bridge.
‘I’m not a monster’
Campbell, 36, was a member of the Truro Police Service and a volunteer firefighter. She was off duty at the time of the alleged offences. Her remains were found on an embankment under the bridge on Sept.16, 2015.
Wednesday, the jury continued watching a 9.5 hour video of Garnier’s interrogation. In it, Halifax Regional Police Cpl. Jody Allison repeatedly asks Garnier what happened to Campbell.
“How did she end up like that,” Allison says to Garnier.
“I’m just trying to understand Chris, the evidence points to something a monster would do,” Allison said. “A very evil person.”
Garnier is crying throughout much of the video. He continuously tells police he does not want to talk.
At one point in the video, Garnier tells Allison “I’m not a monster.”
When asked by Allison what he would like to tell his parents if he could talk to them, Garnier replies that he loves them. Allison then asks if there’s something Garnier would say to Campbell’s family if he could.
“I’m sorry for what happened,” Garnier says.
During the video, Garnier tells Allison “I never want anybody ever to die.”
WATCH: Christopher Garnier murder trial sees video of man pushing green bin
Garnier’s mother could be seen sobbing quietly while the interrogation played in court.
Another police officer, Det. Const. Michelle Dooks-Fahie, eventually joins the interrogation and tries to get Garnier to open up. She tells him “you’re a good person. Good people make mistakes. What happened?”
Dooks-Fahie tells Garnier something happened in the brief time he was at the McCully Street apartment with Campbell.
“You didn’t plan this, Chris. It was 30 minutes. Something went wrong,” she said in the tape.
At one point during the interrogation, Garnier says “my life’s gone.” Dooks-Fahie asks how, and Garnier replies, “I ruined everything.”
‘I could hear her take her last breaths’
Allison asks Garnier if Campbell was alive when she was put in the green bin. Garnier replies “no” and that “she wasn’t moving. She wasn’t breathing.”
Garnier then tells police he doesn’t remember getting to the apartment.
“I remember her being in the bed, the pull-out,” Garnier said. “She was bleeding. I don’t know what happened.”
Allison asks Garnier where she was bleeding from.
“She was bleeding from her nose I think. It was all over her face, That’s how I know she wasn’t alive,” he said. “I could hear her take her last breaths.”
Later on during the interrogation, Garnier says he started watching news coverage of what happened on his phone and couldn’t stop.
“I couldn’t figure out why the f— I would do something like that. I would never do something like that,” he said.
The interrogation video will continue playing for the jury Wednesday afternoon.
Several hours into the interrogation, Allison asked Garnier a number of times whether or not he and Campbell had sex on the night she was killed. Garnier says he doesn’t think so, that he would have felt it the next day if they did.
Garnier told Dooks-Fahie that he remembers taking a green bin into the yard but doesn’t remember putting Campbell in it.
Allison pressed Garnier about how Campbell died and why her face was bloody. When asked if he struck Campbell 30 times, 15 times or just once, Garnier said “I obviously couldn’t have done it a significant number of times because there’s no marks on me.” He later told Allison that he may have hit Campbell with his fists twice or three times.
The rest of the interrogation video is expected to be played for the jury on Thursday morning.
DNA Evidence links Campbell to McCully Street apartment
Dr. Greg Litzenberger, a DNA forensic expert with the RCMP in Edmonton, testified on Tuesday that a sample of blood on a T-shirt that police found in a garbage bin across the street from the McCully Street apartment where it is alleged Campbell was killed matched a known sample to Campbell.
WATCH: Jury watches police interview in Christopher Garnier murder trial
Litzenberger said his lab tested a pair of underwear belonging to Campbell and found no blood, hair or semen. Vaginal swabs also showed no sign of semen.
Litzenberger said Campbell’s DNA was found on a sample of blood taken off a television in the McCully Street apartment, as well as a stereo.
Campbell’s DNA was also found on the floor of the same apartment.
Defence suggests erotic asphyxiation may have played role in death
Last week, Joel Pink, the lawyer representing the accused murderer brought up the idea that erotic asphyxiation may have played a role in Campbell’s death.
Pink outlined a hypothetical situation in which a man who recently separated from his girlfriend went to a friend’s house on Sept. 10, 2015. Once there, the pair drank and smoked marijuana before taking a taxi downtown to go to Cheers where they drank. The pair later left Cheers and went to a second bar, the Alehouse.
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