Alex Baptiste, left, speaks to reporters alongside his cousin Verlyn Baptiste after he testified about the last time he saw his sister, Dawns Baptiste alive, at the Calgary courthouse on Monday, September 10, 2018. A murder trial has begun for a man accused of raping a woman and then hitting her in the head with a rock in 2015. Curtis Healy has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder in the death of Dawns Baptiste. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Lauren Krugel

Jury to deliberate in case of Calgary man accused of murdering woman

Curtis Healy could be convicted of first-degree murder, second-degree murder or manslaughter

Jurors are to continue deliberating Friday whether a man accused of raping and killing a Calgary mother of four is guilty of first-degree murder or a lesser charge.

The jury was given instructions by Queen’s Bench Justice Charlene Anderson on Thursday and they deliberated until 9 p.m. without reaching a verdict.

Anderson told the jurors they could acquit Curtis Healy or convict him of first-degree murder, second-degree murder or manslaughter in the death of Dawns Baptiste, 31.

The Crown accused Healy, 29, of throwing Baptiste to the sidewalk, stomping her head, hitting her with a bottle, dragging her through a hedge, raping her in a back yard and then hitting her in the head with a large rock.

RELATED: Mother’s 25-year search for daughter led to DNA database for missing persons

The cause of death was blunt force trauma to the head.

In closing arguments, prosecutor Carla MacPhail said because the murder, sexual assault and unlawful confinement were part of the same series of events, Healy should be convicted of first-degree murder.

The defence didn’t dispute that Healy was responsible for Baptiste’s death and that he sexually assaulted her.

But lawyer Shamsher Kothari told the jury in his closing arguments that the sequence of events was unclear, so Healy should be found guilty of second-degree murder.

Jurors heard Baptiste was on her way to stay at a friend’s house when she met Healy on a light-rail transit train.

RELATED: Man who killed mother and sister had no apparent terror tie

Baptiste never made it to her destination. A day later, she was found in a stranger’s backyard, her lower body exposed.

The jury saw a video of a statement Healy made to police saying he was angry when Baptiste told him to go away and that he used the rock to “finish her off.”

The defence argued the statement is unreliable, in part because Healy is low-functioning and was parroting what the detective was saying.

Several loved ones were in the gallery on Thursday, many wearing red T-shirts with a photo of a smiling, pink-haired and bespectacled Baptiste and the dates of her birth and death.

Lauren Krugel, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

West Kelowna to hire eight more firefighters

The city looks to solve what they are calling a critical shortage of firefighters

Kelowna RCMP look to reunite stamp collection with owner

The stamp collection was handed to RCMP in Oct.

Kelowna RCMP search for speed-slowing cut out

The cut out of Const. Warren Ning has been allegedly taken from A.S. Matheson Elementary School

Battling winter blues, depression and SAD after the holidays

Kick the blues on ‘Blue Monday’ that is supposedly the most depressing day of the year

UPDATE: B.C. legislature managers accused of excessive travel, personal expense claims

Clerk Craig James, security chief Gary Lenz call allegations ‘completely false’

9 brains, 3 hearts: Some wild facts about octopuses

Things to know about the giant Pacific octopus, which is naturally found in the waters of the U.S. West coast, the Aleutian Islands and Japan

Hollywood announces 2019 Oscar nominations

Netflix has scored its first best picture nomination, something the streaming giant has dearly sought

B.C. man fined $10,000 after leaving moose to suffer before death

Surrey man was convicted last week on three Wildlife Act charges

Man charged in 7-Eleven fire in Shuswap granted bail

Accused facing arson charges released with 23 conditions including a 7 p.m. curfew

Signs commemorating Japanese interment in the Shuswap planned

Information on each of the five internment camps in the area will be provided at camp locations

‘Blue Monday’ isn’t real, but depression can be

CMHA encourages people to prioritize their mental health

Anti-pipeline group wants NEB to consider impact of emissions, climate change

Stand.earth filed NEB motion asking to apply same standard to the project as it did with Energy East pipeline

B.C. man charged in 2014 snake venom death of toddler

Henry Thomas was taking care of the North Vancouver girl the day before she died

Most Read