LONDON, ONT-Kirsten Bomberry has been found not guilty to three counts of accessory after the fact to murder in relation to the murders of three Six Nations residents last fall. The verdict was delivered by Justice Peter Hockin at her judge-only trial in London, Ontario.
Her defence Lawyer Ian McCuaig told the Turtle Island News that Justice Hockin came to the right conclusion.
“He found that despite the grisly things that happened, Kirsten did not commit a criminal act and that she was not guilty. You never know what to expect when you go to trial but based on the line of questions from Justice Hockin, it wasn’t a surprise that he came to that conclusion.”
Following the brutal murders of Melissa Miller, Alan Porter and Michael Jamieson, Bomberry told police that she originally buried the shotgun and knife used in a fire pit on her property. She later dug them up and went to a remote field off of Highway 54 and reburied the weapons. During the trial McCuaig argues that Bomberry had been involved with police and spent time in prison before and that her actions were for self-preservation.
On Monday her lawyer Ian McCuaig argued Bomberry didn’t want any scrutiny. She has a history with police and the criminal justice system. He told the court she has spent time in prison and was dealing drugs at Six Nations of the Grand River when people were killed in her living room.
He said burying the shotgun and the knife used in the killings was for “self-preservation,” he said.
Middlesex Crown attorney Joe Perfetto said what Bomberry did was “a classic case” of accessory after murder.
The 36-year-old Six Nations woman is the first of six people charged in connection with the triple murders and discovery of three bodies in Middlesex Centre in November. She had pleaded not guilty to three counts of accessory.
Through most of the trial Bomberry sat quietly in the prisoner’s box, often looking at the floor.
The court room was packed with family members of the victims include one woman who sat at the back of the courtroom and placed a framed photo of Melissa Trudy Miller, 37, on the seat beside her.
Miller was seven months pregnant with a baby boy when she was stabbed to death. Alan Porter, 33, died of stab wounds, while Michael Jamieson, 32, was shot to death.Their bodies were found tied and covered up in the bed of a pickup truck on Nov. 4 on Bodkin Road, just outside of Oneida of the Thames Nation, more than 100 kilometres from their home community of Six Nations.
Hockin was told last week Bomberry was aware of the killings and was trying to clean up her trailer home by ripping out the floors and burning the furniture. The weapons, a single-barrel shotgun and a rainbow-coloured knife, were buried in a fire pit on Bomberry’s property, then put in the trunk of a witness’s car and driven to a wooded spot along Mulligan Road and re-buried.
Perfetto said during closing arguments, her act would not aid investors and could be seen as helping the killers. He said it was a “reasonable inference that Bomberry hid the weapons to help out the killers.”
Perfetto asked Hockin not to consider that Bomberry was motivated by fear or to avoid her own arrest. “This is not even a close call,” Perfetto said, adding there is no evidence she was involved in the slayings.
He said it was equally unreasonable to think it was Bomberry’s contention she was afraid of the killers when there was evidence she wasn’t. He said by burying the weapons then moving them to another spot, “there is a remoteness to this fear.”
Hockin, who had reviewed the statements, called the situation “pretty terrifying stuff.”
Defence lawyer McCuaig reminded Hockin that Bomberry was selling drugs from her home, had traded drugs for them and had the weapons on hand for protection.
He reminded the court of her first police statement where she told an officer “I’ve already been on a charge like that,” and that she would never hurt her friends.
When she was arrested in the triple homicide, she offered some information to the police and eventually admitted she saw two of the three people stabbed to death.
“She’s in self-preservation mode here,” McCuaig said of her comments to the police and added she told the police “over and over again” the deaths weren’t connected to her, but she was left to clean up the aftermath.
“She doesn’t want any part of it,” he said.
The lifestyle she was leading would prompt some police scrutiny, McCuaig said, and she wouldn’t want any hint of crime visible on her property. He said there is no direct evidence, he said, of Bomberry actively trying to help the killers, and she was forthright in her description of what happened.
Crown Attorney Joseph Perfetto argued that this was a classic case of accessory after the fact to murder and asked that the judge not consider that Bomberry was motivated by fear or by the prospect of being arrested.
This is the second time she has been involved in a murder case. In 2008 Bomberry was charged with second-degree murder in the stabbing of Emil Uiuiui in Hamilton. Although she was found guilty, the case was back in court in 2012 after an order for a new trial by the Ontario Court of Appeal. During the second trial Bomberry pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of manslaughter and was sentenced to time served.
Following her acquittal, Bomberry was released from custody. ( TIN and CP files)