Thursday, March 30, 2006

Press Clippings--Part XXIII

Woman 'nagged' before dying: Murder trial; Girlfriend's death 'accident': accused

By Sue Montgomery

The Gazette, March 30, 2006

Hours before Kelly-Anne Drummond was found in a pool of blood in her kitchen, she'd been "nagging" her live-in boyfriend, Martin Morin-Cousineau, about $30 he owed their landlord, the 31-year-old told his second-degree-murder trial yesterday.

"There was verbal jousting going on," said Morin-Cousineau, who took the stand yesterday for the first time at the Superior Court hearing. "She's asking about the $30 and I'm telling her to drop it, to let it go."

The two were in their Pierrefonds apartment on Oct. 3, 2004, just days after Drummond, 24, returned from a lifeguarding competition in Italy. Their relationship was tense, Morin-Cousineau said, and they were trying to decide if one of them would leave, or they'd work things out.

Yesterday, Morin-Cousineau denied he'd threatened to kill Drummond if she went to Italy, as an earlier witness testified. But the accused, a former travel agent, said he had threatened on several occasions to cancel her plane ticket.

"It was a way of getting out of discussions," he said.

When Drummond wouldn't let up on the $30, Morin-Cousineau said, he threw an empty 7UP bottle from the living room into the kitchen, where she was preparing dinner. Morin-Cousineau helped himself to a plate of food, a fork and a steak knife, then returned to the living room.

"But she keeps asking and I'm getting upset," he told the five-woman, seven-man jury. "At one point, I just had enough and the adrenaline was pumping."

Morin-Cousineau said he raised an empty mug as if he was going to throw it at her, but didn't.

"I turned toward her to yell at her, 'That's enough! For $30, this is so retarded!'

"I said F--k! Enough! I was fairly tense, the adrenaline had been pumping. I was mad, I guess, very tense."

He threw his arms up, then noticed his fork beside him on the couch. At that moment, he said, he heard noise "of something falling and glass shattering."

"I was aggravated and asked: 'What the hell are you doing?' not necessarily in those words.

"I didn't get an answer, so I ran to the kitchen."

There, he said, Drummond was lying face up, her head in a pool of blood and glass.

"I freaked," the accused told the packed courtroom. "It looked like somebody had turned on a faucet.

"I put my hand underneath her neck and felt a hole, and that's when I really panicked."

A brain scan later revealed a 9.5-centimetre blade lodged in the base of her neck.

Later in his testimony, Morin-Cousineau said he had forgotten to mention that as he held Drummond's head, he noticed a knife handle next to it.

Showing no emotion, Morin-Cousineau explained how he called 911 and told them Drummond was dead. He also "vaguely remembers" performing artificial respiration on her.

When asked by defence lawyer Nellie Benoit if he stabbed Drummond, Morin-Cousineau replied, "No. We were never in the same room.

"It was an accident."

Cross-examination is to continue today.

smontgomery@thegazette.canwest.com

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