Cousin accused in teen's death
Sep 18, 2012 / 10:03 am
A New Brunswick man charged in the death of his 16-year-old cousin picked her up while driving on a rural stretch of road, sexually assaulted her and killed her before burying her in the woods, the Crown said Tuesday.
Opening arguments began in the trial of Curtis Wayne Bonnell, who has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder in the death of Hilary Bonnell three years ago.
Crown lawyer Bill Richards told the jury that it will hear evidence that the 32-year-old accused held Hilary against her will, sexually assaulted her, killed her and buried her body near an old firing range to avoid detection on the morning of Sept. 5, 2009.
"He did this in a very short period of time, perhaps a half hour after he picked her up," Richards told the Court of Queen's Bench.
Richards said Curtis Bonnell took police two months later to the site where her body was found.
Hilary went missing after attending a house party on the Esgenoopetitj (Es-geh-no-peh-titch) First Nation on Sept. 5, 2009. Her disappearance gripped the native community and triggered an exhaustive search.
The girl's body was found two months later, and Curtis Bonnell was charged in December 2009.
Pam Fillier, Hilary's mother, filed a missing persons report on Sept. 7, 2009, two days after her daughter was last seen alive.
Paradis said Hilary's cellphone was shut off on Sept. 5 at 12:06 p.m., according to service provider records. She said Hilary sent two text messages that morning to Haley Bonnell, the accused's sister.
"Please answer me I'm scared," said one text message sent at 7:52 a.m., the jury heard. Another sent a half hour later read, "OMF text me I'm scared."
Paradis said Haley Bonnell told her she didn't reply to Hilary because her cellphone battery was dead.
Under cross-examination, Paradis told defence lawyer Gilles Lemieux that Hilary had been reported missing eight times between 2007 and 2009.
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