New Brunswick man accused of killing 16-year-old cousin testifies in his defence

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MIRAMICHI, N.B. - A New Brunswick man accused of killing his 16-year-old cousin says he woke up after a night of drinking and drugs to find her dead next to him in his pickup truck.

Curtis Bonnell took the stand in his own defence today at his first-degree murder trial in Miramichi.

Bonnell says he had been drinking heavily and snorting cocaine on the night of Sept. 4, 2009, and blacked out.

He says the next morning he woke up parked in a property his family owned in the northern New Brunswick community of Tabusintac and noticed someone was slumped over in the seat beside him.

He says the person fell onto the ground when he opened the passenger door, and he realized it was his cousin Hilary.

Bonnell, who has pleaded not guilty, told the Court of Queen's Bench he didn't know what had happened to her.

He says he panicked, took her to a remote location in the woods and left her body next to a tree.

Her body was found about two months after she disappeared.

Organizations: Queen's

Geographic location: New Brunswick, MIRAMICHI

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