New DNA testing leads to charges in 2005 Halifax homicide case
Halifax police say further evidence testing led to charges laid Thursday in the homicide of Naomi Kidston 12 years ago.
PICTOU – The voice of the man accused of killing 19-year-old Amber Kirwan was heard for the first time Pictou Supreme Court on Monday.
Audio tapes from telephone conversations he had with his father and step-mother as well as a police interview were entered into evidence by the Crown as it continues into the third week of the first-degree murder trial of Christopher Alexander Falconer.
The 31-year-old Pictou County man is charged in connection with the death of Kirwan who went missing from a downtown New Glasgow street on Oct. 9, her remains found on Nov. 5 off a logging road in Heathbell.
The two telephone conversations audiotaped between Falconer and his family were recorded Nov. 16 and 17, 2011 after his arrest on a parole violation.
Staff at the Central Nova Scotia Correctional Facility intercepted the calls. The security intelligence officer of the jail said that signs were clearly posted that calls could be monitored.
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 his family 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 he was alone that night.
"Don't you give up on me," his father said. "If you didn't do it. Don't do that."
His stepmother, Sue Kelly, told him they would survive and asked him to remain strong.
In a second phone call, on Nov. 17, he spoke to his father about his move to a federal prison. He told his father he was still having some back pain and they talk about the car being returned to the father, 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 had not 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 searching at his stepsister Alice Meier’s home on Hardwood Hill for such a long time.
In both conversations, Falconer pleaded with his parents to get in touch with his friend, Rosalie Dean, and to make sure she knows he said hello.
He also expresses concern about his grandparents and their reaction to his arrest.
In the afternoon, Crown played an audiotape of a police interview with Falconer done by Const. Ryan Leil of the New Glasgow Regional Police Service on Oct. 26, 2011.
Leil picked up Falconer at a friend's home on the Vale Road and asked him to come in for an interview. He told him he wasn't under arrest, but the conversation was being recorded.
Falconer told the officer that he suspected he would be called in by police considering his "history" and that a girlfriend told him it was about a missing girl investigation.
Leil asked him if he had anything to do with the disappearance of Kirwan and he responded no, "it's not my thing."
"I will tell you straight up," he said. "I never met her before. Not my thing to go to bars. I like sitting home and having a beer."
Falconer said there shouldn't be any reason for his DNA to be on any evidence collected during the missing person's investigation.
He said he couldn't remember where he was when he heard Kirwan was missing, but he thought he got the information from one of his girlfriends since he didn't listen to television or radio.
He said he spent some time at his stepsister Alice Meier's place in Hardwood Hill Sunday night but she wasn't home. He said he went to his father's house a little later, but then he said he was unsure of the days that he did everything that weekend.
Falconer tried to call his father during the interview to confirm the dates but he couldn't be reached. He told Leil he was unclear on which days he did what, but he said he would take a polygraph anytime in regard to more direct questions and would be available for future questioning.
The first witness of the morning was 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.
She said she texted her stepbrother 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 driving 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 the 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 said, "no, got to go to dad's at 4 p.m."
The Crown also presented text messages from Falconer's friend, Rosalie 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 texted Dean back that he’d found some "smoke" at his father's place around 4 a.m. 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 in without telling her he was coming.
The trial continues today with evidence from a textile and fibre specialist. The Crown is expected to wrap up its case by mid-week during which time the defence will get a chance to call witnesses if it so desires.