KAMLOOPS, B.C. — A 24-year-old man accused of murdering his girlfriend has testified he awoke to see her dead on the grass and then fled in panic when he saw a red car approaching.
B.C. Supreme Court has heard that the pregnant teen had a concrete block on her chest and that her face and jaw were smashed in.
Taylor is charged with second-degree murder in Fowler's death.
CJ Fowler and Damien Taylor.
Her body was discovered hours after the pair had gone to hospital when Fowler complained of chest pains she believed were the result of using crystal meth.
An emergency room doctor has testified that he told Fowler and Taylor that she was pregnant and that they both appeared to welcome the news. Her previous pregnancy, three months earlier, had ended in a miscarriage.
When RCMP in Prince George interviewed Taylor, he told them he became separated from Fowler at the hospital early on Dec. 5, 2012, and went to the Greyhound depot, expecting she would join him.
In Kelowna, where he was arrested 13 month later, Taylor told RCMP he killed Fowler by accident. That admission came after hours of questioning and after Fowler's stepfather — whom Taylor called Poppa — was brought into the interview room.
Taylor also said then that he was trying to "scare her in a funny way'' and cut her throat.
"She was bleeding out of her throat,'' he told police.
Taylor also said he used "the boulders that were there'' to end her suffering.
However, that account, which Taylor now claims is false, doesn't fit with the facts of Fowler's death. A pathologist has testified she died from asphyxiation, likely from a blow to her face and jaw from a concrete block. Her throat was not slashed.
"I was forced to make a false confession,'' Taylor told court.
He also admitted, after being shown video of the couple outside Royal Inland Hospital, that he lied to police about leaving without her.
Taylor testified he lied to police because he was worried they would know he was high on crystal meth and would search his backpack for drugs.
He told court that the week before Fowler's death was consumed by selling and taking drugs, including cocaine, crystal meth and heroin.
When he was first intercepted by police in Prince George, Taylor wasn't told that his girlfriend was dead until he was in the interview room.
Court was shown a video of Taylor sobbing and saying, "No way, what happened?''
In his most recent version of events, Taylor told the jury that he and Fowler were outside the hospital, watching for anyone looking for them due to earlier threats.
However, Crown lawyer Alexandra Janse noted the pair was offered a room in the hospital overnight.
Taylor said they left the hospital and walked to the Greyhound depot after he smoked more crystal meth and heroin.
His next memory is of waking up and seeing Fowler on the ground, taking her pulse and finding her dead, he said, adding he ran after seeing a red car.
Taylor said he changed clothes in order to run faster, eventually arriving at the Greyhound station, where he took the bus north to Prince George.
"That's the only lie that's left, isn't it Mr. Taylor?'' Janse said as she finished questioning him.
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