POLITICS

'I wanted to destroy him,' man accused of murder at sea told police

11/26/2014 10:38 EST | Updated 01/26/2015 05:59 EST
PORT HAWKESBURY, N.S. - A Nova Scotia fisherman who has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder told police he shot at and rammed the boat of another man after the victim cut his lobster traps, threatened to set his house on fire and taunted him for years, a jury heard Wednesday.

A videotaped interview that Joseph James Landry gave to the RCMP six days after Phillip Boudreau vanished last year was played in Nova Scotia Supreme Court in Port Hawkesbury.

During the interview, Landry repeatedly maintained his innocence and denied that the crew of the Twin Maggies fired shots at and rammed Boudreau's speedboat on June 1, 2013, in Petit de Grat harbour in Cape Breton.

"I didn't do nothing," Landry says. "I'm telling you the truth."

But later on during that same interview, Landry told the RCMP he fired a rifle at Boudreau four times and intended to kill him, adding that he took the wheel of the Twin Maggies and ran over Boudreau's boat.

Landry, now 67, said Boudreau had threatened to burn down his house, cut dozens of the crew's lobster traps and taunted him for years.

"I wanted to destroy him," Landry says. "I was seeing black. I was so mad."

Landry said he later told the crew of the Twin Maggies that they had made a mistake.

"I regret it," he tells an RCMP investigator. "I told you the truth. It's all over now."

Landry said he hoped that by telling the truth, it would prevent the other crew members of the Twin Maggies from getting in trouble.

"I'd like to keep the other boys out of it," says Landry, eating a cheeseburger and onion rings during his interview at an RCMP station.

"If I had to do it now I wouldn't do it. But it's too late."

The Crown has told the jury that Landry used a fishing gaff to drag Boudreau out to sea. Prosecutor Steve Drake has said that the three-member crew of the Twin Maggies then tied an anchor to Boudreau's neck and upper arms after his body turned face down in the water, dropping him in an area with a water depth of about 22 metres.

The body of the 43-year-old Boudreau has not been found. Landry told the RCMP during his interview that he didn't know what happened to Boudreau's body.

During his interview, Landry said Boudreau's brother called him the day before the incident and told him that Phillip Boudreau was going to tamper with their traps.

Landry said Boudreau's brother then said, "There's only one thing to do. Get rid of him."

Landry also told the RCMP that he was concerned for the well-being of his daughter Carla Samson, the owner of the Twin Maggies who is charged with accessory after the fact.

"I don't want to see my daughter in trouble," Landry says.

His third cousin and a crew member who was aboard the Twin Maggies, Craig Landry, is also charged with accessory after the fact.

Dwayne Matthew Samson, the captain of the Twin Maggies, is charged with second-degree murder.

Those three accused have yet to stand trial.

Chief Justice Joseph Kennedy told the jury the defence will have an opportunity to call evidence Thursday and closing arguments will be held after that.

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