Man accused of killing cousin testifies
Oct 30, 2012 / 11:17 am
A man accused of killing his 16-year-old cousin says he didn't think the police would believe him if he told them he had no idea how she died.
In his second day of testimony on Tuesday, Curtis Bonnell said he also couldn't tell police the whole story because he didn't know how Hilary Bonnell's body got into his pickup truck on Sept. 5, 2009.
Bonnell told defence lawyer Gilles Lemieux that he thought his race damaged his credibility with the police in New Brunswick, so he didn't tell an officer he blacked out from drinking and doing drugs before he found his cousin's body in his truck.
"He wouldn't have believed me anyway," Bonnell testified. "I thought, I'm just another lying Indian to you."
Bonnell, 32, has pleaded not guilty in the Court of Queen's Bench to first-degree murder.
Wiping his eyes, he said he had put his family and the Esgenoopetitj First Nation through so much anguish in the two months that people searched for Hilary.
"I hurt everyone I loved," he said.
After his arrest, Bonnell said he had bad dreams in the police lock-up and asked to speak with spiritual healer David Gehue.
A recording of the phone conversation was played for the jury.
During the conversation Gehue asks Bonnell if he had taken a life. Bonnell, speaking in Mi'kmaq, says yes.
Bonnell led police in New Brunswick to where Hilary Bonnell's body was on Nov. 9, 2009, a day after his arrest.
He said he thought police would be able to tell him what happened to Hilary because he didn't know how she died.
"I thought the investigation would end there and they would come and tell me what happened," said Bonnell.
"I didn't have any answers."
Bonnell became emotional in court when asked about his conversation with his father after his arrest.
"It was difficult to tell my father that I knew where Hilary was," Bonnell said.
Bonnell has told his trial that he began drinking at his home on Sept. 4, 2009, and moved to a bar in nearby Neguac where he snorted cocaine.
He testified Monday that at some point he blacked out and woke-up the next morning in Tabusintac to find Hilary's body next to him in his pickup truck.
Bonnell, who was charged in December 2009, told his trial that after realizing Hilary was dead, he panicked and loaded her body into the back of the truck.
He said he left Hilary's body next to a tree in the woods, but returned the next day and buried her at a more remote location because he was worried what animals might do to her body.
Hilary went missing after attending a house party on the Esgenoopetitj First Nation.
When the trial opened six weeks ago, Crown attorney Bill Richards told the jury that her cousin held Hilary against her will, sexually assaulted her and killed her.
He said Bonnell buried her body near an old firing range to avoid detection.
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