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

  • Regina landlord frustrated about lack of refugees in neighbourhood

    Canada News CTV News
    A Regina landlord is frustrated that refugees seem to be avoiding a neighbourhood he says he has enough trouble getting locals to consider. Jason Hall has 95 houses in the North Central part of Saskatchewan’s capital. Source
  • Missouri bill would limit transgender school bathroom access

    World News CTV News
    JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- Missouri lawmakers are considering a "bathroom bill" targeting transgender children in public schools, despite a backlash that North Carolina faced over a broader law limiting bathroom use in all public buildings. Source
  • Bull on loose in NYC leads cops on wild chase [Video]

    World News Toronto Sun
    NEW YORK — A cow that apparently escaped from a slaughterhouse has led police on a wild chase through New York City streets. Police corralled the animal in a backyard in Jamaica, Queens, after a chase that lasted more than an hour. Source
  • No evidence shots fired at Houston hospital: Reports

    World News Toronto Sun
    HOUSTON — The police chief in Houston says no one has been found injured and there’s no evidence of a shooting amid reports that shots were fired inside the hospital at the Texas Medical Center. Chief Art Acevedo says his officers were making a second search of Ben Taub Hospital, one of the city’s major trauma centres. Source
  • Vandal who smashed Trump star to pay damages, serve probation

    World News Toronto Sun
    LOS ANGELES — A man who destroyed Donald Trump’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame has been sentenced to three years of probation for vandalism. An attorney for James Otis says he pleaded no contest to the felony Tuesday in Los Angeles Superior Court. Source
  • South Sudan promises 'unimpeded' aid access amid famine

    World News CTV News
    WATAMU, Kenya - South Sudan's president said Tuesday his government will ensure "unimpeded access" for all aid organizations, a day after famine was declared for more than 100,000 people in the country suffering from years of civil war. Source
  • Milo Yiannopoulos resigns as editor of Breitbart Tech

    World News CTV News
    NEW YORK -- Polarizing right-wing writer Milo Yiannopoulos resigned as an editor at Breitbart News on Tuesday and apologized for comments he had made about sexual relationships between boys and men. Yiannopoulos, speaking to reporters, said that two men, including a priest, had touched him inappropriately when he was between the ages of 13 and 16. Source
  • Dog helps save N.S. man, boys in collapsed snow fort

    Canada News CTV News
    LAWRENCETOWN, N.S. -- A Nova Scotia man is praising the efforts of the family dog for helping save him and two young boys who were buried under a heavy mountain of snow after their fort collapsed on top of them. Source
  • Ukraine backs more sanctions against Russia in passport spat

    World News CTV News
    MOSCOW - Ukraine's president called Tuesday for new sanctions against Russia over its decision to recognize passports issued by separatist authorities in eastern Ukraine, while the Kremlin accused Ukraine of denying vital documents to people in the rebel regions. Source
  • Man credits family pet for saving him, boys after snow fort collapse

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    LAWRENCETOWN, N.S. — A Nova Scotia man is praising the efforts of the family dog for helping save him and two young boys who were buried under a heavy mountain of snow after their fort collapsed on top of them. Source