POLITICS

RCMP interview with accused played at lobster fisherman murder trial

11/25/2014 11:44 EST | Updated 01/25/2015 05:59 EST
PORT HAWKESBURY, N.S. - Phillip Boudreau rammed his boat into a fishing crew's vessel and threatened to damage their lobster traps the day before he disappeared in the waters off Cape Breton last year, a murder trial heard from the accused Tuesday.

A videotaped interview that Joseph James Landry gave to police after Boudreau vanished on June 1, 2013, was played for the jury at the Nova Scotia Supreme Court in Port Hawkesbury.

Landry, who has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder, told an RCMP officer that Boudreau confronted his fishing crew and threatened to cut their lobster fishing gear while they were on the water on May 31, 2013.

"He came from nowhere in the fog. He hit the bow of the boat," said Landry, often waving his hand as he spoke to the investigator. "And then he turned around and he hit it again."

Landry told the RCMP that on the next day, he woke up at 3 a.m. and headed out to sea with his crew to collect their lobster traps but he did not see Boudreau on the water.

"I'm telling you the truth," said Landry. "Why would I lie?"

Landry said after the three-member crew hauled in their lobster traps, they went back to the wharf in Petit de Grat.

"And that's my story," he said.

The interview was played a day after the jury heard Craig Landry, one of the other fishing crew members aboard the Twin Maggies, testify that he saw Joseph James Landry fire a gun at Boudreau on June 1, 2013.

Craig Landry also said in court that the Twin Maggies rammed Boudreau's boat several times that day before Boudreau was hooked with a gaff. But Craig Landry later said he did not actually see Joseph James Landry use the gaff to drag Boudreau out to sea and he did not watch as the Twin Maggies ran over Boudreau's boat three times, though he heard three thuds.

Defence lawyer Luke Craggs asked Craig Landry on Tuesday whether he was concerned for Boudreau, a man he previously told the court he had known his entire life, after hearing the thuds.

"I'm just surprised, scared," Craig Landry said, who added that he told police he was so frightened at the time that he soiled himself.

Craggs asked Craig Landry if he cleaned himself up, but the Crown objected, saying that question was only an attempt to embarrass him.

Judge Joseph Kennedy allowed Craggs to continue his line of questioning.

"This is not a tea party," Kennedy said. "This is a murder trial."

Craggs then asked Craig Landry whether he told police that he soiled himself because he was trying to make his story sound more believable. Craig Landry said he did not make it up.

Craig Landry, who is the accused's third cousin, was previously charged with second-degree murder but that was withdrawn. He now faces a charge of accessory after the fact.

Two other people are charged in the case.

The body of the 43-year-old Boudreau has not been found.

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