NEWS
12/20/2017 12:21 EST | Updated 12/20/2017 12:41 EST

Jury begins deliberations in trial of man accused in death of off-duty cop

HALIFAX — The jury has begun deliberations in the trial of Christopher Garnier, accused of strangling Nova Scotia police officer Catherine Campbell and using a compost bin to dump her body.

Garnier is charged with second-degree murder and interfering with a dead body.

The jury started their deliberations at about 6 p.m. Wednesday after hearing Justice Joshua Arnold's final instructions.

Arnold told the jury there are three possible verdicts for the murder charge: Garnier could be found guilty of manslaughter, guilty of second-degree murder, or he could be found not guilty.

The Crown alleges Garnier punched and strangled the 36-year-old Truro police constable after they met at a Halifax bar in September 2015, and used a compost bin to dispose of her body near Halifax's Macdonald Bridge.

The defence has argued that Campbell died accidentally during consensual rough sex.

Defence lawyer Joel Pink asked the jury during his closing statement Monday to find his client not guilty of both charges.

Arnold told jury members their verdict must be unanimous, although they do not have to arrive at a conclusion in the same way.

Just before deliberations began, two members of the 14-member jury panel were dismissed. A jury of seven women and five men will decide Garnier's fate.