Crown witness in murder trial of two Six Nations residents released from custody

Melissa Miller, Alan Porter and Michael Shane Jamieson were killed in 2018. Their trial begins this week.

Melissa Miller, Alan Porter and Michael Shane Jamieson were killed in 2018. 

By Victoria Gray

Writer

HAMILTON, ONT-A witness in the second degree murder trial of a man accused in the 2018 homicide deaths of two Six Nations people has been released from custody after a contempt citation and two nights in a women’s detention centre.

The Crown’s primary witness in Thomas Bomberry’s second-degree murder trial,  Kristen Bomberry, was cited for contempt and lodged on Wednesday for giving combative and repetitive statements about not remembering events surrounding the triple homicide that occurred in October 2018 at her home on Fourth Line Road in Ohsweken and concerns that she was intoxicated.

She did not return to court on Thursday after a scan revealed a package in her pelvis that was assumed to contain drugs.

Kirsten’s lawyer, Ian McCuaig said that finding “may have been a red herring,” as nothing has passed through her system and is no longer showing up on scans.

McCuaig also argued that Kirsten’s speech may not have been slurred due to intoxication, but that it is her “normal” speech pattern and the more anxious she becomes the worse her speech becomes.

Although Assistant Crown Attorney Andrew Falls argued Kirsten should remain in custody until Feb. 22, due to concerns of intoxication and unwillingness to participate neither he, nor Justice Andrew Goodman argued that there were concerns for her attendance as she had come to court on time for three days.

McCuiag argued that spending the weekend in custody would likely not encourage Kirsten Bomberry to participate in the court process since during the process of this case no one has had her safety in mind. He said even in speaking to OPP to give the video statement admitted for evidence, guards at the jail announced her appointment in front of other inmates. When she was leaving for the appointment corrections staff announced in front of other inmates she would be taking a special vehicle instead of the bus to court. It was suggested she might transfer faculties to ensure her safety, but it was determined that could be even more dangerous, given it would confirm for inmates she had made a statement. When she returned, corrections staff asked what she was doing there because they thought she was transferred.

“[When you’re] in custody and you do that, it can be a very real threat to your life,” he said.

Kirsten was instructed to return to court on February 22 and not to ingest, inject or otherwise partake in illicit drugs or alcohol.

Thomas Bomberry has pleaded not guilty to two counts of second-degree murder October 2018 in the deaths of Alan Grant Porter, 33, Melissa Trudi Miller, 37, who was seven months pregnant. His trial began Monday.

The bodies of Porter, Miller and Michael Shane Jamieson, 32, were found in an abandoned truck on Bodkin Road near London in November 2018.  The bodies had been tied up and wrapped in blankets.

While Thomas’ lawyer Lindsay Daviau was cross-examining Kirsten was combative and repeated that due to post traumatic stress disorder she has no memory.

“Due to post-traumatic stress I’ve blocked it out. I don’t remember anything,” she said.

Goodman found her in contempt after more than three hours of testimony that was met with various forms of “I don’t remember.” The last straw was Kirsten saying she didn’t want to be in court.

“I don’t have anything to say about anything. I don’t want to be here. I don’t have anything to say,” Kirsten said.

Goodman said this was only the second time in his career he has ordered a witness into lodging for the night and he didn’t take the decision lightly.

As she was lead out of the courtroom she said, “I don’t know what you want from me.”

Daviau, recounted 39-year-old Kirsten’s criminal record asking for confirmation or admission, Kirsten repeatedly said, “sure,” “don’t remember,” and “if you say so.”

“My record doesn’t matter to me,” she said. “I don’t even care. Get to the point, man.”

Her record spans from 1996when she was 15, to 2021and is dotted with theft, assault and drug charges. Kirsten said the early offences were her way of escaping sexual abuse at home.

In February 2010 she pleaded guilty to manslaughter after six years in prison for stabbing a 25-year-old man in the heart with a kitchen knife in Hamilton.

Goodman admitted her four-hour taped police interview with OPP Det. Const. Jennifer Foley into evidence on Wednesday despite concerns from Daviau about its inconsistencies with autopsies.

Kirsten said in her video statement that Miller’s throat was slit by Nicholas Shipman, after being stabbed by Jamie Beaver.

Kirsten admitted to hiding the knife and gun used in the murders, but was acquitted in 2019 of three charges of accessory to murder after her lawyer argued she had assisted in the deaths out of fear for her own life.

Goodman presented his reasoning for Kirsten’s contempt citing on Thursday and said she was making a “mockery” of the court by not answering simple questions posed by Thomas’ attorney, Daviau, including, is Thomas Bomberry Kirsten’s cousin? Did she live in the trailer on Fourth Line? Did you remember dating Victoria Styres? All of which she answered she didn’t remember.
“I don’t remember, I don’t want to remember due to post traumatic stress, I don’t remember anything was said over 25 times,” Goodman said. “given the passage of time it’s reasonable or even from post traumatic stress. What concerns this court is that she denies even knowing her cousin, her best friend Vern, or the victims, that were clearly known to her at various times, where she lives, rooms in the trailer, the property itself and a host of reasonable questions not related to events three years ago.”

Last November Jamie Beaver pleaded guilty to one count of aggravated assault and Nicholas Shipman pleaded guilty to three counts of manslaughter. Sentencing will commence next month.

Bomberry’s trial continues next week.

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