A 16-year old girl killed, her 24-year old boyfriend charged with second degree murder. It's being described as a 'tragedy of profound proportions' CJ Fowler's life is gone and Damien Taylor's is changed forever.
In closing arguments, Defence Lawyer Don Campbell asked the 11-person jury to set aside their emotions, and decide 'strictly' on the evidence given. He says Damien Taylor's mental state should be at the heart of what jurors consider, viewed through the lens of a significant amount of crystal meth use. Campbell told the court the case against Taylor is circumstantial - Taylor was in love with his girlfriend, and why would he murder the only good thing in his life.
In earlier testimony, Taylor admitted to ingesting crystal meth - cocaine - ecstasy and marijuana - in a 'blur' of drug use during the week leading up to CJ's death. He blacked out after leaving Royal Inland Hospital, where CJ was assessed for symptoms of meth - and told she was pregnant. He remembers waking up to find CJ lying dead next to him - he panicked - ran from a red car - and left on a bus to Prince George.
A forensic psychiatrist testified Taylor could have been in a drug psychosis - Don Campbell says there is compelling evidence of 'brain crushing' crystal meth use - and in his right mind - there is no way Taylor willfully committed murder.
But Crown Prosecutors dispute intoxication claims, saying video surveillance and witness testimony from doctors and hospital staff - points to the fact he wasn't high and was thinking clearly. Alex Janse told the jury CJ Fowler died with her shoes off, her legs crossed, and not long after sending a loving text message to her father - painting a picture of 'trust' - that CJ didn't see it coming - and was betrayed. Janse told the court Taylor 'intended' to kill his girlfriend, when he knocked her unconscious and dropped a 56-pound concrete block on her face - while she lay defenseless on her back.
Crown says Damien Taylor told a string of lies to cover up the murder and got rid of physical evidence - a bloody sock - a Greyhound ticket - a cell phone - and he changed his clothes. But Defense says that's all consistent with Taylor finding CJ Fowler's lifeless body and panicking. Jurors are expected to begin deliberations tomorrow (Wednesday).
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