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"My hands around her neck" says Christopher Garnier in police tape


Accused describes hearing Catherine Campbell's last breaths

UPDATE 1 p.m. Dec. 7:

Defence lawyer Joel Pink is undertaking an extensive cross examination that will resume after lunch. He noted that Garnier tried to invoke his right to silence/wish not to speak on lawyer's advice on 64 occasions.

He added that his client had only some fast food and likely limited rest. He was arrested at 1:27 a.m. on Sept. 16 and began his interview at 1:02 p.m. for 9 hours and 24 minutes, ending at 10:26 p.m. Pink also questioned how truthful Allison's remarks to Garnier (reassurances that he was not a monster for example) were. Allison said that they were truthful.

UPDATE 12 p.m. Dec. 7:

RCMP Cpl. Jody Allison read out a letter from Garnier to Campbell's family on the tape. He said he was sorry for what happened and that he did not expect forgiveness but hoped her family would get some closure. He added that he would give his own life to bring Campbell back.

One line read "I never wanted this to happen. I've always been a caring person but this is my darkest moment."

UPDATE 10 a.m. Dec. 7:

Christopher Garnier revealed more details about Catherine Campbell's death in a police interview tape shown at his trial in Halifax Thursday.

"My hands around her neck," he told RCMP Cpl. Jody Allison, who questioned him on Sept. 16, 2015.

Garnier said in the tape that he was "stressed out," at the time of the incident but did not say whether or not he was specifically angry at Campbell at the time of her death.

"No wonder you couldn't sleep on the weekend," replied Allison in the tape.

The Crown alleges that Garnier punched and strangled Campbell inside an apartment on McCully Street and dumped her body on a steep embankment near Halifax’s Macdonald Bridge in the early hours of Sept. 11, 2015.

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

More to come...

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HALIFAX - Christopher Garnier told a police interrogator he had fuzzy memories of the night Catherine Campbell died, but said he remembers seeing her bleeding - and hearing her final breaths.

“She wasn't alive when she went in the (compost) bin because I could hear her take her last breaths,” Garnier told RCMP Cpl. Jody Allison on Sept. 16, 2015, hours after police found Campbell's body face down in thick brush near Halifax's Macdonald Bridge.

“I don't know how this happened.”

Garnier allegedly killed the off-duty Truro, police officer in a McCully Street apartment in the early hours of Sept. 11, 2015, and used a wheeled compost bin to dispose of her body. Campbell grew up in Stellarton, where she also served as a volunteer firefighter.

The jury continued to watch the 9.5-hour-long taped interview Wednesday at Garnier's murder trial in Nova Scotia Supreme Court.

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 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.

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.

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

In the police tape Garnier said that he hit Campbell two or three times with his hand. Most likely it would have been "with a fist." He previously told police that he didn't remember but after continued questioning gave them this detail. There was some alcohol in the apartment, he said, but he didn't recall having any.

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