Grace Robotti was spaced out and not acting like herself in the days after she killed Roxanne Louie, her daughter told jurors Monday.
Danielle Robotti, Grace’s daughter, said she lived Osoyoos at the time of the killing. She and her mother spoke on the phone regularly and, like everyone else, she had been told that Roxanne had simply gone missing.
As the missing person’s investigation got underway, and Louie failed to come forward, Grace showed up at Danielle’s house.
That in itself wasn’t unusual, but her demeanour was.
“She was spaced out and glazed over … she was not herself at all,” said Danielle. “It was like she wasn’t even present.”
It wasn’t until the day before Grace and Pier Robotti turned themselves in to police that Danielle found out why.
“It was around midnight and I felt a weight on my bed,” Danielle told jurors. “I said ‘what’ and (Grace) said ‘I know what happened to Roxanne … it was an accident.’”
Related: Robotti admits to killing Louie
Danielle said she didn’t remember much after that, and the details of the crime were mostly spelled out by her uncle, Pier, the next day.
She did, however, immediately realize that her mother would be going to jail as what she deemed to be the legal consequence of taking a life.
When asked by Crown counsel John Swanson if she ever wondered why her mother lied to her, Danielle said that she knew her mother hid the truth to protect her.
Danielle wasn’t the only one to view Grace Robotti’s lies in that light.
Related: Covering up the killing
Her brother Pier testified Monday that much of what Grace did after killing Louie was motivated by fear of what would happen to her great grandson.
Pier, who said the Jan. 4 2015 killing left him with an understanding of “post traumatic stress syndrome,” told his older sister to call the police shortly after realizing Louie had been killed in a Jan. 4, 2015 altercation.
He told jurors that after Louie stopped struggling, he got up and tended to her child in another room.
Upon his return 30 minutes later, Louie was covered with a blanket and his sister was cleaning blood.
“When I first saw the scene I went outside and started chain smoking,” Pier said.
When his sister joined him outside, he told her to call the police.
Instead, she asked him to hide Louie’s body, so she could have time to get the child’s business in order. In particular, she wanted to get the child in the custody of her daughter, his grandmother.
“She said ‘all I ask you to do … is get rid of the body. Take my car,’” Pier recalled Grace asking him.
He slid Louie’s body down a slope off a remote road in Naramata.
It was caught on some shrubbery and Pier followed it down, crossed Louie’s arms over her chest. He then offered some words.
“You’re with your elders now,” he recalled telling her for jurors. “Your son’s here and you can look down on them.”
He then went home, and cared for the child while Grace continued on with what she was doing. He told jurors he thought she’d only need two or three days, but it took nearly a week for her to complete what she wanted to get done.
“I knew what I was doing was wrong and I’d be doing some time for it,” he told jurors.