October 05, 2015 - 6:18 PM
"I WAS JUST TRYING TO SCARE HER IN A FUNNY WAY BUT IT DIDN'T TURN OUT THAT WAY. SHE WAS BLEEDING OUT OF HER THROAT"
KAMLOOPS — After his arrest in 2014, Damien Taylor told Kamloops RCMP investigators he killed his 16-year-old girlfriend CJ Fowler, a Crown prosecutor revealed today. But in front of his jury in Kamloops Supreme Court, Taylor said he only made the confession after succumbing to pressure from investigators and recanted it, saying he lied to police.
Crown prosecutor Alex Janse revealed Taylor's confession for the first time during his trial today, Oct. 5 when Taylor took the stand in his own defence.
"(They) forced the scene in my head over and over and I wanted to stop so (the police) forced me. I wanted to stop and I did a false confession and I apologize for that,” Taylor said.
Instead,Taylor says he blacked out from taking a variety of drugs after walking with Fowler to Guerin Creek and woke up next to her body Dec. 5, 2012. He said he panicked and caught a bus to Prince George where the police were waiting for him. During an interview with Sgt. Todd Wiebe, Taylor cried upon hearing news of Fowler's death and said he did not kill her.
“So you’re telling us today that you made a false statement to (Prince George) police saying you didn’t kill (Fowler) and you made a false statement to police in Kamloops saying you did kill (Fowler)?” Janse asked.
She read a section of Taylor’s confession in which he said: “I was just trying to scare her in a funny way but it didn’t turn out that way. She was bleeding out of her throat."
“I apologize for making a false confession,” Taylor said in court.
Taylor, now 24, is charged with second degree murder of Fowler, who was his girlfriend at the time.
Beyond the confession, Janse compared Taylor’s previous testimony to statements he gave police, both in 2012 and again in 2014. She hammered him with questions, but received minimal responses from Taylor who often replied with "I don't know" or "I don't remember".
When she asked about Taylor’s drug use and working as a dealer, Janse suggested he and Fowler were having a disagreement in the evening before her death because the two ran out of both drugs and money; they no longer had a place to stay.
Despite limited options, the couple did have a chance to spend the night of Dec. 4 at Royal Inland Hospital. The couple travelled there earlier that day after Fowler suffered from chest pains attributed to meth use.
Taylor said the two decided to hike from the hospital to the Greyhound station where they could be safe and warm.
“Why didn’t you stay in the emergency room? You had a bed. You had food. You were warm,” Janse said. “Why did you guys check out of the hospital when you had a safe place to stay for the night?"
"I had a lot of crystal meth on me,” Taylor replied adding he was nervous about getting searched.
“Why didn’t (Fowler) stay at the hospital while you left?” Janse asked.
“Because she was my girlfriend and she liked being with me at all times,” Taylor said.
This morning Taylor explained the various drugs he used including street names for measurements and the side effects he experienced. With meth, he said, it was difficult to sit still after smoking it. He called the effect ‘flailing.’
Janse pulled up several video exhibits of the accused standing in the hospital and in the Greyhound station. In the short frames, Taylor moves and walks normally.
“You’re not walking in any odd fashion?” she asked.
“On the tape, no,” Taylor replied.
Janse asked Taylor what he meant by ‘on the tape’ and he told her he knew about the cameras and didn’t want to get caught acting 'particular’.
"I knew there was a camera there so I try not to act particular when I’m using a lot of speed,” he said.
“You’re not twitching uncontrollably and you’re telling the jury that despite being high you can control your behaviour when you need to,” Janse said.
Janse also pointed out a bandana Taylor had wrapped around his ankle and asked him why he was wearing it. Taylor said he’d been wearing it all week while Janse put it to him he was using it to cover up Fowler’s blood on his socks — the same ones found in a Prince George hotel room later that day.
In direct examination under his lawyer Don Campbell this morning, Taylor described the activities he and Fowler took part in, particularly extensive drug use and hallucinations but couldn't explain waking up beside Fowler's lifeless body and feeling the urge to run.
“I checked her pulse and nothing was there,” Taylor said of his Fowler. He said he saw a red car and a grey car and got scared because he thought they were gangsters.
"I panicked and ran. And then I got lost several times. I changed my clothes. The red car was following me. I was trying to hide there from whoever was following me,” he said.
When Campbell, asked him how he found the Sahali Greyhound station, Taylor said, “I don’t know. I can’t remember. I just found it."
Campbell asked Taylor why he and Fowler were walking Columbia Street toward Sahali after Fowler was discharged from the hospital.
“We started climbing the hill to the Greyhound,” he said. “I was trying to get ahold of my grandmother in Hedley to see if she could come pick us up."
According to Taylor, he and Fowler left Terrace Dec. 1 and had plans to come to Kamloops so they could deal drugs with friends of Fowlers. He said throughout the entire trip the two regularly used cocaine, meth and smoked marijuana. He made his first deal on the bus to Kamloops where he sold cocaine he and Fowler used on the bus to a fellow passenger, Taylor said.
He said the couple decided to return home after arguments with fellow dealers and out of fear of reprisal.
-This story was updated at 6:05 p.m. October 5, 2015 to include more information from the afternoon session.
To contact the reporter for this story, email Glynn Brothen at email@example.com or call 250-319-7494. To contact the editor, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 250-718-2724.
News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015