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Hilary Bonnell's mother testifies at murder trial

09/19/2012 12:11 EDT | Updated 11/19/2012 05:12 EST
Hilary Bonnell’s mother is testifying Wednesday morning in the first-degree murder trial of Curtis Bonnell.

Bonnell, of the Esgenoopetitj First Nation in northeastern New Brunswick, is charged with the murder of Hilary, his first cousin, in 2009.

Pam Fillier, the victim’s mother, is now testifying in the Miramichi courtroom.

The judge had asked her family to leave the courtroom on Tuesday because he didn’t want them to be influenced by other witnesses.

About 45 witnesses are expected to be called in the trial, which is expected to last up to eight weeks.

The family asked the lawyers to arrange the witness list to move up the family members, so they could watch the rest of the trial.

The Crown alleges Curtis Bonnell, 32, picked up Hilary on Sept. 5 at about 8 a.m., as she was walking along Micmac Road in the northeastern community after a party.

Bonnell is accused of holding Hilary against her will, sexually assaulting her, killing her and then driving her to an isolated location, far from the reserve, all within half an hour, prosecutor Bill Richards said.

Hilary was reported missing two days later. She had run away eight times in the previous two years, according to police.

Her body was discovered in a wooded area near Tracadie-Sheila after more than two months of searching.

On Tuesday, RCMP Const. Joany Paradis testified about the final three text messages between Hilary and her cousin, Haley.

"OMG Haley, I want to leave," Hilary texted to her cousin Haley at about 7:25 a.m., Const. Joany Paradis testified in Miramichi provincial court.

"Please answer me, I'm scared," the 16-year-old wrote at 7:52 a.m., said Paradis.

"OMF, text me, I'm scared," was Hilary's last message, sent at about 8:20 a.m., the officer told the courtroom.

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