Welcome to my Crime and Justice blog! I am a 19 year old criminal justice student at the University of Winnipeg. I advocate for prisoners' rights, human rights, equality and criminal justice/prison system reforms.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Witness accused of lying in Cooper trial

The star witness against a man on trial for the unprovoked beating death of Audrey Cooper was accused Monday of falsely implicating the accused so she could escape prosecution.

“You knew that it would be more likely for (the Crown) to drop the charges against you if you said (the accused) did something he didn’t do,” defence lawyer Ian Histed charged during his cross-examination of the now 16-year-old girl. “Isn’t it true you exaggerated (the accused’s) involvement to get a better deal for yourself?”
The girl repeatedly denied lying to police or justice officials.
The 19-year-old accused has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder.
Cooper, 34, was beaten to death in October 2006 outside the Spence Street rooming house where she lived.
Earlier Monday, the girl testified she punched Cooper in the face after she ignored her request for a cigarette. She said two 14-year-old female co-accused dragged Cooper onto her porch where all three girls and the male accused “stomped, kicked and punched” the unconscious woman. The two older girls stripped Cooper of her clothes after which the male accused urinated on the woman, the girl said.
The girl pleaded guilty to manslaughter in October 2008. She served 32 months in custody before a judge handed her a community-based sentence set to expire one week after her 18th birthday. The girl was allowed to plead guilty to the reduced charge in exchange for her testimony against her three co-accused at trial.
“When you got arrested, you didn’t tell police a thing,” Histed said. “That changed two years later ... You knew there couldn’t be a deal unless you gave a statement.”
Histed alleged the girl was too intoxicated to remember her own involvement in Cooper’s death, let alone his client’s.
“You were so drunk you didn’t know kicking somebody in the head kills them, did you?” Histed said. “You were blind stupid drunk at the time, weren’t you?”
“I guess, yeah,” the girl responded.
Closing arguments in the trial are expected to begin Wednesday morning.

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