Man accused of killing girl in southeast Edmonton home pleads not guilty at murder trial

Click to play video: 'Man accused of killing 7-year-old Edmonton girl pleads not guilty' Man accused of killing 7-year-old Edmonton girl pleads not guilty
David Moss, who is accused of second-degree murder in the stabbing death of seven-year-old Bella Rose Desrosiers at a home in Mill Woods, pleaded not guilty in court on Monday. Sarah Komadina reports. – Jun 6, 2022

GRAPHIC WARNING: This article contains details that may disturb some readers.

A murder trial has heard how a woman was about to kiss her young daughter good night when a friend with a pair of scissors entered the girl’s room and attacked.

David Moss has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder in the May 2020 killing of seven-year-old Bella Rose Desrosiers. He is seeking a ruling that he is not criminally responsible, Crown lawyer Shivani Naidu-Barrett told the judge-alone trial Monday.

Read more: 7-year-old stabbing victim Bella Rose Desrosiers had ‘a huge, kind heart’

Bella’s mother, Melissa Desrosiers, tried to defend her daughter, but Moss pushed her away, Naidu-Barrett read from an agreed statement of facts. Moss, who had been seen hours earlier by police and a mental-health worker, was staying at the Desrosiers home.

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“Approximately a year prior to the offence date, Mr. Moss and Ms. Desrosiers began a friendship after Ms. Desrosiers attended the tattoo shop that Mr. Moss owned with his wife,” said Naidu-Barrett as Moss, 36, stood in an orange jumpsuit in Edmonton’s Court of Queen’s Bench.

“Ms. Desrosiers’ husband committed suicide in their home. Mr. Moss had provided Ms. Desrosiers a memorial tattoo to commemorate her husband’s death, free of charge.”

Bella Rose Desrosiers is being remembered by her family as a little girl with a huge heart. Supplied

Naidu-Barrett told the court that Bella’s mother and Moss grew up in small neighbouring Alberta towns. Although they knew of each other and had mutual friends, they were not friends at the time.

Naidu-Barrett told court that a year later, Desrosiers was at Moss’s home and became concerned he was suicidal. She invited him to come to her place.

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That evening, Desrosiers picked up Bella and her younger sister from their aunt’s home and arrived at her southeast Edmonton house with Moss.

While Moss took a shower and a nap in the guest bedroom, Desrosiers took her daughters to their bedroom to put them to sleep. Their aunt was to babysit them while they slept, so Desrosiers could take Moss to the hospital.

Court heard that Desrosiers was about to kiss Bella good night in the room she shared with her sister when Moss, wearing only shorts, appeared in the doorway. He was holding a pair of scissors he had retrieved from a kitchen drawer.

Naidu-Barrett said Moss pushed Desrosiers aside and began slashing Bella in her neck with the 20-centimetre blade. Desrosiers tried to fight Moss as she told her other daughter to run to the bathroom and lock herself inside.

“While Ms. Desrosiers has attempted unsuccessfully to fight Mr. Moss off, Mr. Moss continued to cut Bella’s neck to the point of almost decapitating her,” Naidu-Barrett said.

When police officers arrived, they found Bella in a puddle of blood by the main entrance of the home, the lawyer said.

Moss, with hands and feet bloodied, was sitting on the couch.

After the attack, Desrosiers threw the scissors out the window, Naidu-Barrett told court.

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While on his way to police headquarters, Moss did not say anything and appeared at some times to be asleep, the prosecutor said.

“In response to being asked if he had any injuries, he said, ‘My fingers are cut.’ When asked how they got cut, he said, ‘It was a murder.”’

David Michael Moss. Supplied

He also made unsolicited comments to police later that night which included him saying he liked what he did.

“Mr. Moss acknowledged that the above statements were voluntary,” Naidu-Barrett told court.

Read more: Man accused of killing 7-year-old Edmonton girl was assessed by police, mental health professionals hours before crime

A urine sample a few days after Bella’s death found Moss had cannabis in his system.

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The trial is to continue on Wednesday when it’s expected the defence will make its opening statement.

Lawyers say multiple civilians, experts and Bella’s mother are to testify during the trial, which is scheduled for 15 days.

Moss is to testify at the end of this week.

Click to play video: 'Edmonton homicide victim Bella Rose Desrosiers’ mother shares grief' Edmonton homicide victim Bella Rose Desrosiers’ mother shares grief
Edmonton homicide victim Bella Rose Desrosiers’ mother shares grief – May 20, 2020

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