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LATEST UPDATE: Christopher Garnier breaks down in police video

Christopher Calvin Garnier, charged with second-degree murder in the death of Truro police officer Const. Catherine Campbell, is seen entering the courtroom.
ANDREW VAUGHAN – THE CANADIAN PRESS
Christopher Calvin Garnier, charged with second-degree murder in the death of Truro police officer Const. Catherine Campbell, is seen entering the courtroom. ANDREW VAUGHAN – THE CANADIAN PRESS

UPDATE 3:30 p.m.

More details have been revealed in Halifax today in the Christopher Garnier murder trial. The courtroom is currently watching a video of Garnier being interviewed by police.

On the evening of Sept. 10, 2015 he said that he met his friend Mitch and started by watching TV, playing the Xbox and they bought a quart of rum but did not drink all of it. They then took a cab to Boomers in Halifax, but it was shut so they went to Cheers instead. There they had some shots. Next, they went to the Alehouse. Once there, he told police that he remembered going outside the building a number of times with Campbell. He could not recall the cab ride back from the Alehouse to McCully.

Back at McCully, he recalled Campbell on the sofa bed. "Her head was down towards the front of the bed." He was by the door. He thought he put the mattress in the dumpster.

Later, when police were tailing him, Garnier realized that he was being followed so he did not go back to the house where Brittany was. He did not want her (with whom he had reconciled by Sept. 15-16) to watch him get arrested.

 

UPDATE 12 p.m.: 

RCMP Cpl. Jody Allison returned to the room. Christopher Garnier started to crack. When asked by Allison if Campbell was still alive when she was placed in the compost bin he replied "No," and "she wasn't moving." Also, "she wasn't breathing." When asked if it was over quick he said, "I think so." He also said "I can't even remember getting back to Mitch's place," (his friend who lived on McCully).

Later he says: "She was bleeding." Blood was coming from her nose. Also "I could hear her take her last breaths."

He says she died on the mattress of the sofa bed in the McCully Street apartment. 

He remembered being in the back yard. He threw the keys away 
Garnier did not recall being angry with Campbell or having sex with her. When asked what he would say to Catherine's family he replied, "I'm sorry." He also asked "why the f*** would I do something like that." The HRP officer Michelle Dooks-Fahie reassured him that he did the right thing by giving both Campbell's family and his own closure.
 

UPDATE 11 a.m.:

A third day of police video footage showed a sobbing Christopher Garnier as he was interviewed by RCMP Cpl. Jody Allison about the death of Catherine Campbell.

Played at his trial in Halifax Wednesday, Allison asked Garnier what he would say to both his and Campbell's family.

"I'm sorry for what happened," replied Garnier.

While clearly distraught during the interview, Garnier did not say what happened at the 5714 McCully Street apartment in the early hours of Sept. 11, 2015.

However, Garnier said that he did not want anyone to die.

"I'm not a monster," Garnier told Allison in the video.

The Crown alleges that Garnier punched and strangled Campbell inside the McCully Street apartment and dumped her body on a steep embankment near Halifax’s Macdonald Bridge.

A police officer in Truro, Campbell grew up in Stellarton, where she also served as a volunteer firefighter.

"The evidence points to something that a monster would do," said Allison.

However, Allison and a second police officer who entered the room reassured him that he was a decent person in a bad situation.

They both asked Garnier to tell them what happened, taking a soothing, reassuring tone with him.

"This is your time," said the second officer, Michelle Dooks-Fahie.

Under interrogation on the video, Garnier is still not revealing anything but he told Allison and the other interviewer, "My life is gone," and "It's gone. I've ruined everything."

When asked by police to tell them what happened he said, "I'm sorry. I can't." He was crying, sobbing, weeping and distraught throughout. Police appealed for him to give both Campbell's family and his girlfriend Brittany Francis closure.

•••

 

A second day of video footage showed a mostly silent Christopher Garnier under a barrage of questioning from RCMP Cpl. Jody Allison over the death of Catherine Campbell at his trial Tuesday.

Allison showed Garnier pictures and video of evidence gathered by police, including a photo of maggots on Campbell's body, but the suspect maintained his right to remain silent.

"Video. Forensics. Statements. Body. We've got it all," Allison told Garnier.

Nonetheless, Allison pressed Garnier to open up about what happened in the living room of the apartment on McCully Street in Halifax during the early hours of Sept. 11, 2015.

The RCMP officer at one point dropped his previously soothing tone, saying that the evidence suggested a pre-planned murder, pointing to the compost bin allegedly used to transport Campbell's body.

A police officer in Truro, Campbell grew up in Stellarton.

"You put her in a goddammed compost bin," said Allison. "A compost bin. A human being."

The Crown alleges that Garnier punched and strangled Campbell inside the McCully Street apartment and dumped her body on a steep embankment near Halifax’s Macdonald Bridge.

Allison said that the evidence pointed to a cold-blooded killer "who threw her down over the bridge like a bag of dog s***."

However, Allison also took a more reassuring tone, telling Garnier, "you're not that monster."

He also said in the interview tape that there was no one else in that apartment except Campbell and Garnier. The Crown says that the latter had the key to the apartment, lived in by his friend who ended up in the drunk tank that night.

He pointed out that Garnier's friend had no link whatsoever to Campbell and was completely "out of the picture."

Continuing to press Garnier, Allison asked if Campbell did or said anything to make him react, perhaps by making fun of his sexual performance.

When Garnier did not answer, Allison said that maybe there was no reason at all for Campbell's killing.

"This girl is dead. Her mom and dad are destroyed," said Allison. "They are done."

Earlier that day three other witnesses were called to the stand.

The first witness was the RCMP's Gregory Litzenberger, a forensic DNA expert.

His laboratory analyzed two bloodstains from a T-shirt. Catherine Campbell's underwear and a vaginal swab were also analyzed. No blood or semen was found.

Two swabs from the living room floor, a third from a stereo cabinet and a fourth from a speaker found blood that matched Catherine Campbell's.

No blood was found on a neck chain but it had DNA that matched both Campbell and a male.

DNA matching Campbell and a male individual was also found on a watch's inside clasp.

Next up was Blair MacLellan, who was with the RCMP in September 2015. He examined a seized computer ‪on Sept. 15 of that year and found Google and web searches relating to Cipralex (an anti-depressant) and its relationship to violence, alcohol and drugs.

The computer had one user called 'Garnier' and a Hotmail account of 'Chris Garnier' was found, MacLellan told the court.

Previous internet activity dating from Sept. 9, 2015, related to career and job searches.

The third witness was the RCMP's Adrian Butler, a blood stain pattern analyst. Police searching the apartment found multiple floor spatter stains.

Spatter stains are consistent with an object or weapon strike, Butler told the court.

More spatter and transfer stains were found underneath a tissue box and on the stereo system and wall. There was no evidence of a cleanup.

DNA tests on the blood revealed that it matched Campbell.

 

With files from The Canadian Press

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