ALBERTA

Jury to start deliberations on Monday in senior slain trial in southern Alberta

10/24/2014 11:49 EDT | Updated 12/24/2014 05:59 EST
LETHBRIDGE, Alta. - The jury will begin deliberations next week in the trial of a man accused of murdering and dismembering a senior from southern Alberta.

The torso of Otto (Bunty) Loose, who was 77, was discovered by police in the snowy woods west of Bragg Creek, Alta., in January 2012.

The Vulcan man's hands were missing and his head was found several kilometres away.

Timmy Engel, who is 37, is charged with first-degree murder.

Crown prosecutor David Labrenz said in closing arguments Friday that Engel cashed a $10,000 cheque from Loose, just one day after Loose was killed and before his body was found.

He also said Engel had used Loose's bank card to take more money out of his account, saying money was the motivation for the crime.

Earlier in the trial, two undercover police officers testified that Engel confessed to the murder and asked them to help him dispose of the head.

But Engel later recanted and said another man did it and he was just pulled along.

"He is reliving a memory," Labrenz told jurors. "He isn't reliving a memory of what he saw, but of what he did."

Defence lawyer Karen Mollie said police manipulated Engel into confessing by arresting his pregnant girlfriend.

Mollie also said while Engel was able to tell police exactly where they could find Loose's head, he didn't know where the murder weapon was or what he did with it after.

She pointed out that Engel had at one point said the other man used a hacksaw to remove Loose's head and hands, and while a hacksaw blade was found in Loose's vehicle, it was never tested to see if it matched Loose's wounds.

Mollie said any evidence that another person was at the site where Engel dumped Loose's head may have been destroyed when police were searching for it.

(CHLB)

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