Courts

‘I never wanted to do this’: Aidan Cromwell describes fatal stabbing

Cromwell is charged with second-degree murder in the death of Marc Bernard Tremblay

In a video-recorded interrogation, Aidan David Cromwell said he didn’t intend to stab Marc Bernard Tremblay during a confrontation on a Fairview sidewalk.

The video was shown to jurors in Nova Scotia Supreme Court on Friday. Cromwell, 24, has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder of Tremblay, 25, who died after he was stabbed in the chest on Feb. 2, 2012.

In the video, recorded Feb. 3, 2012, Cromwell was interviewed by Det. Const. Tyler Anstey of the Halifax Regional Police.

“I never wanted to do this,” Cromwell told Anstey.

In the video shown by the Crown, Cromwell said he was home all night. Anstey challenged that, saying the police believed Cromwell was involved in the stabbing.

“It’s not up for debate,” Anstey can be heard saying in the video. “These are the facts we have and it’s non-negotiable.”

The video played for just over an hour. Throughout, Anstey calmly spoke to Cromwell from a close distance. He introduced himself as Tyler and called Cromwell “buddy.” Anstey rarely interrupted Cromwell and encouraged him to tell his story.

“I would hate for someone to write the Aidan Cromwell story when you have the opportunity to write it yourself,” said Anstey.

Cromwell said he felt threatened by Tremblay after the victim yelled “you suck” and “you guys are a piece of shit.” After taunting Cromwell and his girlfriend, Tremblay crossed the street to get closer to the couple.

“I thought he was going to hurt her,” Cromwell said to Anstey in the video. “We tried to run away from him but he followed us.”

Cromwell said he pulled out a knife, which he had taken from his girlfriend’s house that night, when Tremblay approached them.

He told Antsey he kicked and punched Tremblay to get him to go away. He had the knife in his hand at one point, and Tremblay was stabbed. Cromwell said he hoped the knife had just punctured Tremblay’s thin jacket. When he pulled his hand back, he noticed the blade was missing.

Throughout the interrogation Cromwell asked to speak with his girlfriend, but Antsey told him she was being questioned by another officer.

Cromwell was in the courtroom Friday; Anstey was not.

Expert testimony

Later Friday afternoon, two expert witnesses were called to the stand.

Dr. Matthew Bowes, chief medical examiner for the Province of Nova Scotia, told the jury the knife went through Tremblay’s heart, diaphragm and pierced his liver. His pericardium, the fibrous sac that protects the heart, filled with blood and put pressure on his heart, causing it to stop.

Bowes said a person with this injury would have seconds to minutes to live.

“This needs to be treated or you die,” he said while being questioned by Crown attorney Carla Ball.

The defence asked for clarification on where the diaphragm and liver are located in relation to the heart. Bowes said the heart and liver are millimetres away from the diaphragm.

RCMP Cpl. Christian Hochhold, a senior forensic analyst specializing in computer and mobile devices, read to the jury deleted text messages between Cromwell and his mother. These messages were sent between 12:38 a.m. and 1:07 a.m., a little more than an hour after Tremblay was stabbed.

Cromwell’s mother asked him to call a cab and come home. By text, Cromwell later asked his mother to delete the messages. In the interrogation by Anstey, Cromwell said his mother didn’t know anything related to the stabbing.

The defence had no questions for Hochhold.

Day 5 of the Cromwell trial will continue Monday.