September 30, 2015 - 8:30 AM
KAMLOOPS — In the hours leading up to her death, a pregnant 16-year-old was getting along with her boyfriend and didn’t want to leave him the night before their trip from Kamloops to Terrace, a jury heard in Kamloops Supreme Court yesterday, Sept. 29.
Claude Royer, a ministry of children and families worker, was among the last to see Damien Lawrence Taylor and his girlfriend CJ Fowler together before the girl’s body was found in a ravine near Guerin Creek Dec. 5, 2012.
Taylor, 24, is charged with second-degree murder.
In his testimony, Royer said he was first contacted about Fowler through the ministry hotline, which he said Fowler phoned in an effort to find a place to stay for the night of Dec. 4. He says he met with her and Taylor at the Greyhound Station on Notre Dame.
"I explained that I could provide a place for her at a safe house for teens and could drive her there. She was in the company of her boyfriend who she named as Avatar,” Royer said.
Because of safe house rules, Fowler’s boyfriend was unable to join her because he was 22 at the time. Royer offered to take Taylor to a men’s shelter but Fowler persisted that she didn’t want to be separated from Taylor.
“She decided she did not want to go there, she wanted to be with Avatar,” Royer said, adding it was Fowler pressing the decision instead of Taylor. “When I saw them they were getting along. Avatar had the (bus) tickets. They were using terms of endearment with each other. (They were) concerned about lost belongings but were supportive of each other."
Royer said Fowler refused the safe house option after he took the couple to a place where they stayed earlier to collect some things. Royer said Fowler indicated she had a fight with her friend on the North Shore residence. After they pulled up, Royer said Taylor left the vehicle and attempted to gather the items he and Fowler left behind earlier only to discover they were tossed out the back door of the home. When it was just he and Fowler in the car, Royer said he asked the teen why she came all the way from Terrace to Kamloops.
"She said she came to Kamloops to hustle and her friend was angry because she was going back to Terrace for Christmas," Royer said adding he didn’t ask Fowler what she meant by ‘hustle’.
Before returning to the Greyhound station, Royer said the teen asked to be taken to the Emergency Room out of concern she smoked meth laced with another substance earlier that evening.
“She said she had consumed some drugs she thought was bad with her friend,” Royer said. "She said (the friend) suffered some complications. She was concerned about her own use as well."
Fowler never made it back to the Greyhound station to catch her return bus to Terrace at noon on Dec. 5. Taylor, however, caught the bus and was stopped by police for questioning in Prince George.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015