Published on January 14, 2014
Artist's depiction shows the accused, Christopher Falconer, at his first-degree murder trial in Pictou, with his father and grandfather in the foreground, Scott Falconer Sr. and Scott Falconer Jr. Artist's sketch by Joan Krawczyk
Published on January 13, 2014
Falconer's father urged him to not plead guilty if he didn't do it. "Don't you give up on me. If you didn't do it. Don't do that."
PICTOU - For the first time, the 13-member jury has heard the voice of the man accused of killing Amber Kirwan.
Audio tapes were played in Pictou Supreme Court Monday during the first-degree murder trial of Christopher Alexander Falconer that replayed two conversations he had with his father and step-mother after his Nov. 10 arrest on a parole violation.
The conversations were intercepted during a phone call he had from the Central Nova Scotia Correctional Facility which had signs posted that phone conversations may be taped.
Falconer is accused of killing 19-year-old Amber Kirwan who went missing Oct. 9, 2011 from New Glasgow and her remains were found a month later in Heathbell.
The tapes were difficult to make out, but Falconer was telling them about his plans to be moved from a provincial to a federal penitentiary in the near future and how he was thinking of pleading guilty to save them the stress of a trial. He said everyone thinks he did it anyway.
He told his parents he was going to be charged with murder, but his father, Scott Jr., told him not to plead guilty if he didn't do it.
"Don't do that," he said. "If you plead guilty that never goes away."
Falconer told his father that he was alone that night.
"Don't you give up on me," he said father said. "If you didn't do it. Don't do that."
His step mother, Sue Kelly, told him they would survive and asked him to remain strong.
"Keep your mind open," he tells her.
In a second phone call, on Nov. 17, he spoke to his father about his move to a federal prison and also spoke of the Marriott gang known in the federal system.
He tells his father he is still having some back pain and they talk about the car being returned to Scott Jr. after a police search.
"I figure they couldn't have found anything in the car or I wouldn't have gotten it back," said Scott Jr.
Falconer says he hadn't cleaned it out in months and there was "a lot of crap in it."
He also said he was surprised to hear that police were at his step-sister Alice's for such a long time, searching her home.
In both conversations, Falconer pleads with his parents to get in touch with his friend, Rosalie Dean, and to make sure she knows he said hello. He talks to his father about the relationship, telling him that she wanted him near, but at the same time was involved with her boyfriend.
He also expresses concern about his grandparents and their reaction to his arrest on Nov. 10, 2011.
The first witness of the morning was Falconer's step-sister, Meier, who told the court she wasn't home the evening and overnight of Oct. 8 because she was at a friend's cottage in Caribou Island.
Meier owns a home on Hardwood Hill Road that also had a camper on its property. Kirwan's DNA was found inside the camper on some duct tape and from hair on the bed headboard.
She said she texted him on Oct. 9 in the morning to ask him to bring her out some beer. He arrived around 1 p.m. with Owen Rafuse and they stayed for about a half hour.
Meier said she couldn't remember what he was wearing or drying that day when he showed up.
In a text message from Falconer before he arrived at the cottage, he told his sister he left some things in her camper that night before and would pick them up later.
She asked him if he wanted her to take them into her mini-home on the same property for safe keeping but he says, "no, got to go to dad's at 4 p.m."
The Crown also had her read through text messages from Falconer's friend, Dean, around the same time he was texting Meier on the morning of Oct. 9 around 9:30 a.m.
In the text message, she asked him what he ended up doing the night before and he responded that he stayed at Meier's for the night.
He said he was going to try to get some sleep but at around 11 a.m. he called texted Dean back and he found some "smoke" at his father's place around 4 a.m. that morning. He ended the text by saying it "came in handy with last night's adventure."
Under cross examination, Meier said Falconer was welcome at her home anytime and often dropped without telling her he was coming by.
The trial continues this afternoon.