Judge gives jury instructions in New Brunswick murder case

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MIRAMICHI, N.B. - A judge began his instructions to the jury today in the trial of a New Brunswick man accused of killing his 16-year-old cousin.

Curtis Bonnell has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder in the death of Hilary Bonnell.

Judge Fred Ferguson of the Court of Queen's Bench told the six-man, six-woman jury in Miramichi that they have the option of finding Bonnell guilty of first-degree murder, second-degree murder, manslaughter or not guilty of any crime.

The 32-year-old Bonnell testified that he woke up from a night of drinking and drugs on Sept. 5, 2009, to find his cousin dead next to him in his pickup truck, but he doesn't know how she died.

He says he panicked and buried her body in a remote wood in Tabusintac.

When the trial opened six weeks ago, Crown attorney Bill Richards told the jury that Bonnell held Hilary against her will, sexually assaulted her and killed her.

He said Bonnell buried her body near an old firing range to avoid detection.

Organizations: Queen's

Geographic location: New Brunswick, MIRAMICHI, Tabusintac

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