The jury in the trial of a man accused of killing an off-duty police officer has been shown video of the pair engaged in a “passionate” embrace at a Halifax bar, hours before she was allegedly strangled.
RCMP Const. Kyle Doane told Christopher Calvin Garnier's murder trial Wednesday that he reviewed surveillance footage from the Halifax Alehouse after it was discovered Truro police Const. Catherine Campbell may have been dropped off there in the early hours of Sept. 11, 2015.
Doane identified the 36-year-old Campbell on the video as a woman in a dress with a black belt around her waist who enters the bar shortly after 1 a.m.
Campbell arrived by herself, said Doane, and eventually Campbell and Garnier are seen on video kissing, embracing and dancing on the bar's upstairs floor.
“At one point they became quite passionate,” Doane said just before the Nova Scotia Supreme Court jury was shown the video footage.
Doane said the pair is later seen on surveillance video leaving the bar around 3:30 a.m.
The 29-year-old Garnier is accused of second-degree murder and interfering with a dead body. He has pled not guilty to both charges.
The Crown alleges Garnier punched and strangled Campbell and used a green compost bin to dispose of her body in the area of Halifax's Macdonald Bridge, where it was not found for days.
Garnier sat quietly at a bench with his lawyer, Joel Pink, as witnesses testified, his family sitting in the gallery behind him. Members of Campbell's family were also in the gallery.
The jury also heard Wednesday from a former head doorman at the Halifax Alehouse. Bradley Randall said he was working that night and saw Garnier, who he knew as a former co-worker at the bar.
Randall said he saw Garnier talking with a blonde, petite woman at a table on the lower level of the bar for about an hour, and they eventually went upstairs to the upper floor. When they came back downstairs, the pair were “a lot closer.”
“They start kissing, making out. Eventually she's sitting on his lap,” Randall told the jury.
A friend of Garnier’s, who went out earlier with him, testified that when he returned to his apartment the following morning, Garnier was sleeping on his couch.
In text messages read out in court, Garnier texted his friend that he remembered speaking with an off-duty cop.
In her opening statement Tuesday, Crown attorney Carla Ball said Garnier was staying with a friend in Halifax's north end after breaking up with his girlfriend, and that they went downtown on the evening of Sept. 10, 2015.
Garnier allegedly seen with compost bin
She said he met Campbell at the Halifax Alehouse, and they later took a cab back to his friend's place in the early hours of Sept. 11, 2015.
Ball alleged that Garnier “hit her in the face and she bled from the head area leaving a stain on the mattress the size of a piece of paper.
“Then, he placed his hands around her neck,” she told the jury.
Garnier then “moved quickly” to get rid of any evidence, said Ball.
She alleges Garnier was seen with a mattress. He was also seen pulling a green compost bin toward his friend's place, and then pulling it away from the same address, down toward the waterfront where Campbell's body was found, said Ball.
“Mr. Garnier put his bloody T-shirt and Ms. Campbell's keys in a black garbage bag and tossed (them) in a large garbage dumpster across the street from (his friend's) flat,” said Ball.
None of the allegations have been proven in court.
– With files from Fram Dinshaw, The News