Courts

Jury shown security camera footage of Christopher Garnier with Catherine Campbell

Christopher Garnier is charged with second-degree murder in death of Campbell

Christopher Garnier leaves Nova Scotia Supreme Court in Halifax on Wednesday.   Lauren Hazlewood

The Crown continued to call witnesses forward Wednesday, as the second-degree murder trial of Christopher Calvin Garnier continued in Nova Scotia Supreme Court.

Garnier, 29, is accused of killing Catherine Campbell, an off-duty Truro police officer, in 2015. He has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder and improperly interfering with human remains.

The jury heard from five witnesses on Wednesday. The majority of the questioning focused on what happened at the Halifax Ale House the night of Sept. 10, 2015. Video surveillance footage from the bar was submitted as evidence by the Crown and was played throughout the day.

The first Crown witness of the day, RCMP Const. Kyle Doane, was asked to canvas Campbell’s apartment building on Sept. 14, 2015, after she was reported missing. After going door-to-door with questions, Doane went to the Ale House and requested the security footage that was shown to the court.

The footage showed Garnier and Campbell entering the Ale House separately just after 1 a.m. on Sept. 11, 2015. Campbell is shown interacting with four males before Garnier. Once Campbell and Garnier began talking, they spent the majority of the night together and could be seen dancing and kissing.

Doane described how Campbell’s legs were wrapped around Garnier’s waist at the bar. Doane also identified Campbell and Garnier leaving the bar together at 3:34 a.m. through a Brunswick Street exit.

The next two witnesses, Ryan Proudfoot and Bradley Randall, both worked at the Ale House that night. Both men knew Garnier because he used to be employed at the bar as a doorman.

Proudfoot told the court he saw Garnier at the bar on Sept. 10, 2015, and they talked briefly when Garnier entered.

“He seemed kind of distressed and distraught. I asked him what was going on and he said that he and his girlfriend had broken up,” said Proudfoot.

Randall, who was working as a doorman, also testified he’d seen Garnier at the bar. The Crown asked if Randall had a relationship with Garnier outside of work, to which Randall said, “not really. I’d see him around but that’s it.”

However, Randall recalled that Garnier mentioned the recent breakup and told him he “was just looking to have some fun tonight.”

Randall also told the court he had to ask Campbell and Garnier to separate a few times because “it was a little too much for a public place.” He said the pair did not seem intoxicated, but he had to ask Garnier’s friend, Christopher Mitchell Devoe, to leave the bar.

Devoe was later arrested and placed in the drunk tank at a police station.

The fourth witness was Halifax Regional Police Det. Const. Scott MacLeod, who testified he had been asked to go to Devoe’s residence and ask him some questions on the morning of Sept. 15, 2015.

MacLeod told the court that during that interview he observed what appeared to be a “single droplet of blood” in the hallway. MacLeod said he also noticed the mattress from Devoe’s pullout couch was missing, as well as its bedding.

Outside, while sweeping the nearby area for evidence, MacLeod said he found a silver jewelry chain on the roof of a nearby building.

Devoe was the final witness to take the stand Wednesday. He told the court that he had invited Garnier over the night of Sept. 10, 2015, after hearing about his breakup. Garnier usually lived in Clayton Park with his now ex-girlfriend.

The pair drank alcohol, smoked cannabis and took a cab downtown where they went to Cheers Bar and Grill, before heading to the Ale House.

Devoe said he does not remember what happened after arriving at the second bar. After leaving the police station in the morning, he returned home to find Garnier asleep on his sectional sofa and the pullout couch stowed away.

Text messages

As part of their case, the Crown entered screenshots of text messages between Devoe and Garnier as evidence.

On Sept. 12, 2015, Devoe texted Garnier asking if he had seen the mattress from the couch because it was missing. Garnier told Devoe that he had been sick on it and so he threw it out.

After giving a statement to the police on Sept. 15, 2015, Devoe went to see Garnier at his workplace and asked about the mattress again.

Devoe told the court that the police had seemed fixated on the mattress, but at the time he “didn’t believe there was any involvement” with Garnier. When asked about the mattress again, Garnier “just laughed it off.”

Garnier’s defence lawyer, Joel Pink, questioned Devoe during his cross-examination and asked if he had seen any blood in the apartment. Devoe replied he had not.

Pink also suggested that Devoe’s timeline of events might be off, to which Devoe replied that it was possible.

Court is expected to reconvene Thursday.