Testimony begins in Fred Prosser murder trial
Published Wednesday, November 21, 2012 7:18PM AST
Testimony has begun in a high-profile murder trial in New Brunswick.
Today, a series of witnesses testified Fred Prosser said he would be better off if his on-again, off-again girlfriend Sabrina Patterson, and mother of his two children, was dead.
They told the court Prosser even explained how he would kill her and what he would do with her body.
Patterson’s body was found in Shenstone, N.B. in the fall of 2010 and Prosser is charged with first-degree murder in her death.
He also faces three sex-related charges and two breaches of an undertaking in connection with the case.
A mistrial was declared in July on the first day of testimony after it was discovered a juror made comments on an anti-Fred Prosser Facebook site.
Yesterday, another 12-member jury was selected for the trial, bringing great relief to Patterson’s family.
“I’m glad it’s finally underway. We need the closure,” says the victim’s sister, Denise Murphy. “Every time you come back to court, it’s reliving it over and over again.”
Prosser’s family was also in Moncton provincial court today, but left without commenting to the media.
In her opening remarks, Crown prosecutor Annie St. Jacques told the jury they will hear a lot of circumstantial evidence, but that the evidence all points to Fred Prosser.
Patterson’s family says St. Jacques has assured them the Crown has a strong case against Prosser.
“She let us know she’s prepared. She has everything she needs,” says the victim’s brother, Dale Patterson.
The Crown’s first witness was RCMP investigator Blake Keirstead, who laid out a timeline of events.
The defence, however, jumped on evidence misplaced by RCMP for six months leading up to the trial.
Under cross-examination, defence counsel Scott Fowler asked about a police interview with Prosser that lasted more than 12 hours and about evidence that went missing for six months while in the possession of police.
St. Jacques said she will produce DNA evidence showing Patterson’s blood on Prosser’s jeans and in the back of his truck, as well as Prosser’s DNA on the back of Patterson’s neck.
The Crown alleges the cause of Patterson’s death is manual strangulation.
St. Jacques also alluded to evidence that Patterson’s wallet, purse and jacket were found around the Prosser home.
After lunch, several witnesses testified that Prosser had previously told them he would be better off if Patterson was dead, and that he would bury her in the woods after killing her.
The victim’s family says the testimony is still difficult to hear, two years after she was murdered.
“When October rolls around, the end of October, and Halloween, it’s like reliving the search and reliving her missing,” says Murphy.
“It’s going to be harder than what we expected,” says Patterson. “It’s going to be a hard three to five weeks.”
Prosser has pleaded not guilty to all charges.
The Crown called eight of the 40 witnesses on its list today. Testimony will continue Thursday.
With files from CTV Atlantic's Jonathan MacInnis