Defence to make closing arguments in Toronto 'suitcase' murder trial

TORONTO - The defence makes its closing arguments to a Toronto jury today at the first-degree murder trial of a man accused of killing his teenage daughter and leaving her body in a burning suitcase.

See Full Article

Everton Biddersingh has pleaded not guilty in the death of 17-year-old Melonie, whose charred body was found 21 years ago.

Crown prosecutor Mary Humphrey on Monday urged the jury to find Biddersingh guilty, saying his "reign of terror" reduced his daughter from a happy, healthy child to a starved, emotionally broken teen, ultimately killing her.

The case has taken two decades to get to trial because police weren't able to identify Melonie's remains until they received a tip that eventually led to the arrest of Biddersingh and his wife in March 2012.

The trial has heard that Melonie came to Canada from Jamaica with two brothers in 1991, when she was 13, to live with her father and stepmother.

Jurors have heard that the girl - who hoped to one day become a nurse - was not sent to school and suffered brutal beatings, food deprivation and gut-wrenching abuse at the hands of her father.

Melonie was treated like a slave, Humphrey said in her closing arguments, and was "withering away" before her father's eyes but he did not stop mistreating her.

"Everton took away everything from Melonie," she said. "He took away her will to live."

Over the course of many months, Melonie was confined for hours in a tiny closet, had her head placed in a toilet that was flushed, was chained to the furniture at times, was denied food and was kicked, punched and thrown against walls by her father, the trial has heard.

Melonie wasn't taken to the hospital as her health deteriorated - despite her obviously frail body and the fact that she had trouble moving - because Biddersingh didn't want anyone to detect that the girl had been abused, Humphrey said.

While the exact cause of Melonie's death is debatable - there are suggestions she may have drowned or merely starved to death - Humphrey told the jury there was no doubt that Biddersingh's "planned and deliberate" actions caused his daughter to die.

After Melonie's death, Humphrey told the jury, Biddersingh crammed his daughter into a suitcase, drove her to a remote area and set her on fire.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Donald Trump blasts conservatives on Twitter over health care bill failure

    World News Toronto Sun
    WASHINGTON — U.S. President Donald Trump on Sunday attacked conservative lawmakers for the failure of the Republican bill to replace former President Barack Obama’s health care law, as aides signalled a greater willingness to work with moderate Democrats on upcoming legislative battles from the budget and tax cuts to health care. Source
  • Hundreds arrested during protests across Russia, including Putin opponent [Video]

    World News Toronto Sun
    MOSCOW — Russia’s opposition, often written off by critics as a small and irrelevant coterie of privileged urbanites, put on an impressive nationwide show of strength Sunday with scores of protest rallies spanning the vast country. Hundreds were arrested, including Alexei Navalny, the anti-corruption campaigner who is President Vladimir Putin’s most prominent critic. Source
  • 'It was just crazy'; Deadly shooting at Cincinnati's Cameo club [Video]

    World News Toronto Sun
    CINCINNATI — A gunfight broke out inside a crowded Cincinnati nightclub early Sunday, leaving one man dead and 15 others wounded after a dispute among several patrons escalated into a shootout, authorities said. No suspects were in custody by late afternoon in the shooting at the Cameo club, which has a history of gun violence, and police said there was no indication of any terrorism link. Source
  • 'Swirl face' sex offender Christopher Neil to make home in Vancouver

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    VANCOUVER — High-risk sex offender Christopher Paul Neil, once known as 'Swirl face," has recently been released from prison and plans to live in Vancouver. According to a public notification Sunday by the Corrections Branch of the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General, the 42-year-old former teacher has a pattern of sexual offending behaviour against both pre and early pubescent boys. Source
  • 4 people found dead in home near Ashcroft, B.C.

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    Police are investigating after four people were found dead inside a home in Venables Valley near Ashcroft on Friday afternoon. Ashcroft RCMP responded to a request for a well-being check at the home and discovered the bodies, said a police press release. Source
  • Republicans struggling to govern

    World News Toronto Sun
    The Republican Party of “no” for Democrat Barack Obama’s eight years is having a hard time getting to “yes” in the early Donald Trump era. The unmitigated failure of the GOP bill to replace Obamacare underscored that Republicans are a party of upstart firebrands, old-guard conservatives and moderates in Democratic-leaning districts. Source
  • Donald Trump faces obstacles building 'big, beautiful' border wall

    World News Toronto Sun
    WASHINGTON — U.S. President Donald Trump has now laid out exactly what he wants in the “big, beautiful wall” that he’s promised to build on the U.S.-Mexico border. But his effort to build a huge hurdle to those entering the U.S. Source
  • Al-Qaida leader Qari Yasin killed in U.S. airstrike, Pentagon confirms

    World News Toronto Sun
    WASHINGTON — A U.S. counterterrorism airstrike earlier this month in Afghanistan killed an al-Qaida leader responsible for a deadly hotel attack in Islamabad in 2008 and the 2009 attack on a bus carrying the Sri Lankan cricket team, the Pentagon said Saturday. Source
  • Trump's 'big, beautiful' border wall faces many roadblocks

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- U.S. President Donald Trump has now laid out exactly what he wants in the "big, beautiful wall" that he's promised to build on the U.S.-Mexico border. But his effort to build a huge hurdle to those entering the U.S. Source
  • German minister 'speechless' over Erdogan rhetoric

    World News CTV News
    BERLIN -- A senior German official says Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's rhetoric in the standoff with European countries ahead of his country's April 16 referendum is causing damage that will take years to repair. Source