Crown closes its case in William Sandeson murder trial, defence up next

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Crown closes case in William Sandeson retrial
Watch: The crown has closed its case in the William Sandeson first-degree murder retrial. More than 100 exhibits and about 40 witnesses later, the case will turn over to the defence next week. As Callum Smith reports, jurors heard about cellphone pings on Sandeson's phone Thursday. – Feb 2, 2023

The Crown closed its case in the William Sandeson first-degree murder trial Thursday.

The jury was selected on Jan. 9 and the Crown opened its case Jan. 10.

A total of 107 exhibits and about 40 witnesses were presented by the Crown.

Prior to closing its case on Thursday, Crown lawyers Carla Ball and Kim McOnie submitted 16 admissions of fact — signed by themselves and Sandeson’s lawyer, Alison Craig.

Those admissions include that the 20.9lbs. of green substance seized from Sandeson’s brother’s apartment was in fact marijuana; that Sandeson had a valid firearm registration certificate for a 9mm Smith & Wesson semi-automatic handgun; that tidal bores and tide levels in Truro area led HRP to believe Samson’s remains likely wouldn’t have been disposed of in the nearby body of water; and that Sandeson owned a black Mazda Protege5.

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On Monday, Justice James Chipman will ask Craig how Sandeson wishes to proceed and she will tell the court if the defence will call evidence.

Chipman also told jurors their presence may be required Friday, Feb. 10. Court doesn’t typically sit on Fridays.

Final witness

The final witness called by the Crown Thursday was Don Calpito, a technology security manager at Telus Communications. In August 2015, Calpito was the company’s senior security investigator. That’s when Sandeson, now 30, is accused of killing Taylor Samson, 22.

Calpito, who testified virtually, analyzed phone records in connection to the case. That information includes call logs, text message history, and which towers were used during phone calls.

On Aug. 15, 2015 at 10:39 p.m., there was an incoming call to Sandeson’s phone that was redirected to voicemail, lasting 90 seconds. The tower used, Calpito says, is linked to Dalhousie University. Taylor Samson was last seen alive entering Sandeson’s apartment before 10:30 p.m.

The next call logged came on Aug. 16, at 10:41 a.m. and was sent to voicemail, but no tower location could be provided.

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During the overnight hours between Aug. 15 and 16, a series of texts were exchanged to and from the phone, he said.

On Aug. 18 at 10:05 a.m., there was a 64-second outgoing call from Sandeson’s phone. At the start of the call, the phone was pinged at a tower in Bible Hill, N.S.; when the call disconnected, the phone was using a Kemptown tower.

Sandeson’s family farm is located in Lower Truro, about 12 km from the Bible Hill tower. Taylor Samson’s DNA has been found on some items seized by police on the large farm property.

Calpito testified that the last known activity from Samson’s phone was an incoming text at 10:40 p.m., Aug. 15, and the last outgoing message was sent at 10:25 p.m.

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