12/11/2017 03:58 EST | Updated 12/11/2017 05:01 EST

Garnier takes stand at Halifax murder trial in death of off-duty police officer

HALIFAX — Christopher Garnier has taken the stand at his trial in the death of off-duty police officer Catherine Campbell.

His lawyer opened the defence case this morning by saying Campbell died accidentally during rough sex.

Joel Pink told the 14-member jury during his opening statement today that Campbell died during a consensual sexual encounter and that it was an "unfortunate accidental death."

He also said Garnier will tell the jury what happened in the early hours of Sept. 11, 2015.

The Crown alleges he punched and strangled the 36-year-old Truro, N.S., police constable in a McCully Street apartment and used a compost bin to dispose of her body near Halifax's Macdonald Bridge.

Garnier had met Campbell in a downtown bar.

He has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder and interfering with a dead body.