Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Press Clippings--Part XXII

“Drummond sought to break up with boyfriend; Defendant was ‘abusive,’ murder trial told “

By Marc Lalonde

The Chronicle, March 29, 2006

In the days before her death, Kelly-Anne Drummond’s father asked her repeatedly to come back to the family’s home rather than return to a place he felt she was unhappy with her live-in boyfriend.

John Drummond testified yesterday in the second-degree murder trial of her boyfriend, Martin Morin-Cousineau.

“I gave her a kiss and a hug and asked her if she wanted to come home. She said ‘no,’ and said she wanted to stay in the apartment,” Drummond told the seven-man, five-woman jury at the Palais de Justice in Old Montreal yesterday.

Drummond continued, saying he frequently witnessed tension between Morin-Cousineau, 31, and his daughter at family functions.

“I saw tension all the time. If, for any reason, Kelly-Anne would be away from Marty (Morin-Cousineau), like outside exercising or barbecuing, he would be in the rec room, watching TV with the lights off,” he said, adding to testimony that Morin-Cousineau was moody, aloof and threatening with Drummond.

The night Drummond picked his daughter up at the airport after a trip to Italy, he remarked that when the pair dropped Kelly-Anne’s luggage off at the couple’s Pierrefonds Boulevard apartment, Morin-Cousineau lay, unmoving, watching television on the couch in the living room.

“He said ‘hello,’ and that was it. He didn’t say anything else and didn’t get up,” Drummond testified.

Defence attorney Nellie Benoit got Drummond to admit he had never seen any physical violence or loud arguments between the couple, however.

Drummond’s former boss testified that Drummond had confided in her about the stress of living with Morin-Cousineau because she wanted out of the relationship, but couldn’t leave because the apartment’s lease was in her name.

“She told me that her boyfriend was abusive and that he told her she was ugly all the time, but that she couldn’t leave him because the apartment was in her name and that’s why it was difficult for her to break up with him,” testified Marie-Claire Martin, who owned the Kirkland day care where Drummond was employed in the two years prior to her death. “I offered to lend her three months rent so she could get out of her lease. She thanked me, but didn’t take my offer,” Martin said.

Three days before her death and after her return from a lifeguarding competition in Italy, Martin testified that Drummond seemed “sad and anxious,” at work.

“I asked her what was wrong and she told me that, regarding her boyfriend, everything would be settled that weekend. She said ‘it either works or it doesn’t.’ I had no further discussion with her after that,” she said.

The owner of Les Trésors de Marie-Claire had been set to lay Drummond off earlier, but changed her mind when Drummond said she would change age-group supervision.

“We had too many people working with the three-year-olds, so I told her I had to let her go, but she asked me if she could stay and work with another age group because she was having a terrible time at home with her boyfriend and had responsibilities she had to take care of,” Martin said.

Paramedics were called to the couple’s apartment on Oct. 3, 2004. Drummond, a popular athlete and lifeguard, died from her injuries in hospital the next day. Morin-Cousineau told police Drummond fell.

The trial continues today, when the defence is expected to begin its case.

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