PICTOU – Closing arguments will be heard Friday in the first-degree murder trial of Christopher Alexander Falconer who is accused of killing Amber Kirwan.
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
The Crown closed its case early Thursday morning and defence lawyer Mike Taylor called one witness to the stand, Scott Falconer Jr.
Scott is the father of accused, who is charged in connection with the death of 19-year-old Kirwan who went missing from a downtown New Glasgow street on Oct. 9, 2011. Her remains were found in Heathbell off a logging road on Nov. 5, 2011.
Taylor told the jury he wanted Scott to testify to put context to some of the statements made between him and his son during a phone call in November 2011. The audio tape was played as part of the Crown’s evidence and was recorded on Nov. 16 and 17, 2011, while Christopher was remanded at the correctional institution in Burnside, N.S., on a parole violation.
Scott said his son had keys to his Heathbell Road home and came and went as he pleased. After he was arrested in early November, he called home frequently to speak to his father and step-mother Sue Kelly.
During one of the conversations on Nov. 16, 2011, Falconer told his father he was thinking of pleading guilty to take some of the stress off his parents and family.
“I told him you don't plead guilty to something you didn’t do,” Scott said. “He agreed basically that he would not plead guilty and he would hang in there.”
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Crown attorney Bill Gorman asked if Christopher told his father during the conversation that he didn’t murder Kirwan.
“At no time in that conversation did he say, ‘Dad, I didn’t do this’?” asked Gorman.
Scott responded by saying, “No, not at that time.”
That was the only witness the defence called the stand so the evidence portion of the trial wrapped up and closing statements will be heard Friday. Justice Nick Scaravelli is expected to charge the jury on Monday morning following which jury deliberations will take place. During the jury charge, the justice will give the jury instruction on how to deliberate on the evidence.
Only 12 people of the 13-member jury will be deliberating on the evidence so one person will be randomly excluded from deliberations. A jury foreman will also be selected once the 13th juror is excused. An extra juror was selected at the start of the trial in case someone became ill or had to be excused because of a conflict of interest.
Once the jury begins deliberations, members will not be separated until a verdict is reached.