HALIFAX – The second-degree murder trial for Paul Trevor Calnen continued Friday at Nova Scotia Supreme Court in Halifax, with the case entering it’s fifth day of testimony.
Calnen is accused of killing Reita Jordan, his live-in girlfriend, in the Hammonds Plains home they shared in March of 2013.
The court saw a videotaped statement that was taken after investigators deemed Jordan’s disappearance a homicide.
The video shows investigators and Jordan’s mother pleading with Calnen to tell them where Reita’s remains were. After some time, Calnen tells them what happened to his girlfriend.
According to Calnen, he and Jordan got into a fight on March 18, 2013. During the argument, Jordan threw things at him and kicked his belongings. Calnen told police Jordan had her back to the stairs and swung at him. He ducked and she went down the stairs, when Calnen checked on her, she was dead.
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“The video statement, both of his admissions and the re-enactment are critical to our case because really, without that, we don’t have the actions of what he did. We don’t know what happened to Reita Jordan, we don’t know what happened to the body,” said Rick Woodburn, Crown attorney.
From there, the court heard Calnen tell police he put Jordan’s body in his truck and drove to Ingramport, where he dumped her in the woods and burned her belongings. Some time later, Calnen returned to the scene and moved Jordan’s body from the woods to Musquodobit. Once there, he started a fire and burned her.
“The video that we just watched describes an accidental fall and so that’s not an admission that somebody has caused somebody’s death nor that they intended it,” said Peter Planetta, defence attorney for Calnen.
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The crown also called Neil Barr, a tow truck driver, to the stand. He testified he was called by CAA to pick up Calnen from the woods in Musquodobit after his truck got stuck in the mud. The call happened on the same night Calnen admitted that he disposed of Reita Jordan’s remains.
Calnen has pleaded not guilty to Jordan’s murder but has pleaded guilty to indecently interfering with her remain, by burning her body. Reita Jordan’s remains were never located.
This week, the jury of nine women and five men saw two different videotaped statements from the accused. One of the statements was taken shortly after Jordan was reported missing in March of 2013, and show Calnen explaining how he first met Jordan on Agricola Street and that she was a ‘working girl’.
In that video he tells police he has no idea where Jordan is and assumed she left him for someone else.
The court also heard from retired Det/Cst. Paul Trider, the officer that originally took the missing persons complaint about Reita Jordan and was looking into what happened to her.
Female clothing that Trider found in Calnen’s home and a pair of brown boots that belonged to Jordan were also officially entered into evidence.
The trial is scheduled to last for nearly five weeks. Testimony will continue on Monday at 9:30 a.m.