Crime

Jury selection begins for Christopher Garnier murder trial

Garnier pleads not guilty in death off-duty police officer Catherine Campbell

The trial is being held at the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia in Halifax.   Sara Ericsson

Hundreds of prospective jurors filled two courtrooms at the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia in Halifax on Monday as the murder trial of Christopher Calvin Garnier began.

Garnier, 29, faces two criminal charges: second-degree murder and improper interference of human remains in the death of off-duty Truro police officer Catherine Campbell, 36.

Garnier has pleaded not guilty to both charges.

Many prospective jurors waited all day to be exempted from serving by Justice Joshua Arnold, or sworn in as an official juror.

So far, three women and two men have been selected; the process will continue Tuesday until a total of 12 jurors and two alternates are selected.

Campbell went missing on Sept. 11, 2015. On Sept. 16, 2015, her body was found under the Macdonald Bridge in Halifax.

Garnier was arrested in the early morning of Sept. 16, 2015, during a traffic stop in Clayton Park.

The process

Defence lawyer Joel Pink is representing Garnier at the trial. Christine Driscoll and Carla Ball are representing the Crown.

Jury members are being selected through a process called challenge for cause, whereby prospective jurors are questioned by a judge about their biases and prejudices and approved by the defence, Crown and two jury members who have already been sworn in.

Due to the extensive media coverage of the case in the years leading to the trial, the size of the jury pool is larger than normal to ensure that enough jurors remain after prospective jurors are exempted for pre-existing bias.

The trial is set to run until Dec. 21.