Judge charging jury in case of teen found stuffed in burned-out suitcase

TORONTO -- A Toronto judge is charging the jury in the 21-year-old case of a teenager found stuffed in a burned-out suitcase.

See Full Article

Apart from the standard instructions to jurors, the judge has been outlining evidence of the horrific abuse Melonie Biddersingh suffered before she died.

Her father, Everton Biddersingh, has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder in her death in September 1994.

Superior Court Justice Al O'Marra noted a central issue is the credibility of two key witnesses: the teen's older brother and her stepmother.

The brother, Cleon Biddersingh, testified how the accused would kick and stomp the victim, starve her, and flush her head in the toilet.

He also testified Elaine Biddersingh was the "mastermind" in the family who believed her 17-year-old stepdaughter was possessed by the devil.

"She began to lose weight. He could see her bones and ribs," O'Marra said in recounting the sibling's testimony."

"Elaine would call Melonie the devil and say she was evil and wicked."

Charges including aggravated assault and criminal negligence were stayed against Cleon Biddersingh, who also testified his sister was weak, incontinent, in pain, and suicidal.

He also said he sometimes hit his sister at the urging of his father, but never to hurt her.

O'Marra noted several apparent inconsistencies in the brother's testimony, saying it was up to them to decide what to believe.

In closing arguments Tuesday, defence lawyer Jennifer Penman urged jurors to acquit Everton Biddersingh, 60, of deliberately killing his daughter, saying the evidence instead points to his wife as the culprit.

Elaine Biddersingh faces her own first-degree murder trial this spring.

Penman portrayed Elaine Biddersingh as an evil, demon-obsessed religious fanatic and the likely killer.

The Biddersinghs were arrested in March 2012 after a tip that finally allowed them to identify the victim's remains and lay charges.

It's not certain how the teen died, but it appears she either starved to death or drowned. The defence maintains the latter.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • With Washington abuzz, Mueller's report is delivered quietly

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- The manila envelope in her hand held a single sheet of paper. Wearing a black puffer coat, the woman and her delivery were so unassuming in appearance that she was able to quietly slip past the crowd of reporters gathered in the hallways of the Rayburn House Office Building. Source
  • Pennsylvania officer acquitted in fatal shooting of black teen

    World News CBC News
    A jury has acquitted a white former police officer who fatally shot an unarmed black teenager outside Pittsburgh. Former East Pittsburgh police officer Michael Rosfeld was charged with homicide for killing 17-year-old Antwon Rose last June. Source
  • Sanders aims for strong showing in delegate-rich California

    World News CTV News
    LOS ANGELES -- By the time California's presidential primary election arrived in 2016, Bernie Sanders was a beaten man. This time around, everything has changed. The senator from Vermont was an insurgent outsider three years ago in a head-to-head race against Hillary Clinton, the former first lady, U.S. Source
  • After decades, Van Gogh painting in U.S. museum finally authenticated as real deal

    World News CBC News
    The Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford announced Friday that the oil painting Vase with Poppies has been verified by researchers at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam as having been painted by the Dutch artist in 1886, just after he moved to Paris. Source
  • Democratic demands set up battle over Mueller report

    World News CTV News
    In this image made from video, Sen. Charles Schumer, D-NY, addresses the media in New York, Friday, March 22, 2019. (AP Photo/David R. Martin) Source
  • Beyond Mueller report, Trump faces flurry of legal perils

    World News CTV News
    NEW YORK -- U.S. President Donald Trump portrayed Robert Mueller as the bane of his existence, but even with the special counsel's Russia investigation wrapped up, he may still have to contend with state and federal investigators in New York. Source
  • Time for Canada to drop the 'white gloves' in diplomatic feud with China, says ex-diplomat

    Canada News CBC News
    As Beijing continues to ramp up diplomatic pressure on Canada through its decision to stop importing Canadian canola seed, one former ambassador to China says it's time for Canada to "remove our white gloves" and retaliate against the Asian superpower. Source
  • A look at Russians who became mixed up in Mueller probe

    World News CTV News
    MOSCOW -- An investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller into an elaborate Russian operation that sought to meddle in the 2016 U.S. presidential election and try to help Donald Trump win the White House has cast a spotlight on more than a dozen Russian nationals, including billionaires, an elusive linguist, an ambassador and a pop star. Source
  • What's next? Mueller ends Russia investigation as big questions linger

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- Now what? Special counsel Robert Mueller has concluded his Trump-Russia investigation and on Friday delivered his final report to the attorney general. We may not get all the juicy details uncovered over the past 22 months -- at least not right away -- but this story is far from over. Source
  • Read the letter announcing the Mueller report conclusion

    World News CTV News
    Attorney General William Barr delivered a letter to Congress on Friday notifying the leaders of the Judiciary committees that special counsel Robert Mueller had submitted his report on the Russia investigation. The letter was addressed to Republican Sen. Source