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

Kitimat resident is Conservative choice for fall election

Claire Rattée is a former Kitimat councillor

Pacific Traverse Energy to start community engagement

The company will reach out to key stakeholders

RCMP again warns public not to drink and drive

New legislation allows police to breathalyze with drivers’ consent

Rio Tinto donates $50K for Shames Mountain chairlift upgrades

The money was used to purchase the chairlift’s bull wheel replacement last summer

Broken axle caused New Hazelton train derailment: TSB

It could happen again without a different way to inspect trains

VIDEO: Iconic ‘snow cone’ takes shape at B.C. park near Clearwater

Snow cone forming at Wells Gray Provincial Park one that would make Disney’s Queen Elsa proud

UPDATE: Reports of rashes prompt closure of all Harrison Hot Springs pools

Public pool available after Fraser Health shut down all five mineral pools until further notice

Legislation to protect B.C. farmland comes into effect

Regulations enhance food security, encourage long-term farming

Have you heard the legend of Shuswaggi, the Shuswap Lake monster?

Witness accounts as old as 1904, and as recent as 2018, place a creature in the lake’s depths

UPDATE: B.C. ticket holder winner of $25.9-million Lotto Max jackpot

Next draw set for Mar. 1 with an estimated jackpot of $10 million

B.C.-based ‘Team Tardi’ brings home gold in junior curling worlds

In a 9-4 victory over Switzerland, a Langley-based curling team earned its 2nd straight world title

People gather for funeral of seven children killed in fast-moving Halifax fire

Traditional portion of the service will be followed by words from community members

B.C. weavers to help Alaska Native project honouring survivors of violence

Dozens of Chilkat and Ravenstail weavers from all over North America will be weaving 5-inch-by-5-inch squares

B.C. skip Sarah Wark and team eliminated at Scotties Tournament of Hearts

Nontheless pretty impressive stuff from the 24th-ranked team in the country

Most Read