Asp trial starts with undercover video

The first-degree murder trial of Christina Asp, who is charged in connection with the death of Gordon Seybold, started hearing testimony this week.

The first-degree murder trial of Christina Asp, who is charged in connection with the death of Gordon Seybold, started hearing testimony this week.

The 63-year-old man’s remains were found in his torched Ibex Valley home in 2008.

A police video of Asp, 34, was shown to the judge and jury on Wednesday in which Asp describes hearing Seybold’s skull crack after he was hit with a baseball bat.

The video was secretly taped in an Edmonton apartment in 2009.

In the video, off to the right of the frame, sits the “crime boss,” who is actually an undercover RCMP officer.

The female officer, and other undercover officers, have convinced Asp they are a major crime family – one that can make all of her problems with the police disappear.

But they will only help Asp if she is completely honest with them, the “crime boss” emphasized over and over again during the video. Then for the next 15 minutes or so Asp is questioned and explains in excruciating detail what happened.

The court was told Seybold had a fairly decent-size, marijuana grow-op on his property. Asp’s mother lived with her common-law husband in a guest cabin on Seybold’s property.

In the video, Asp tells the “crime boss” that her mother had spoken to Asp’s boyfriend, Norman Larue, about Seybold, before that spring morning in 2008 when the young couple drove out to Seybold’s Ibex Valley cabin.

“So the plan was just to eliminate him, get him out of the picture altogether,” the undercover cop said, and Asp agreed.

She then talked about what happened when they got to the cabin.

But the “crime boss” reminded Asp that they had checked the police’s database and she and Larue definitely had something to worry about.

“It’s not a problem that I can’t fix, mind you,” the undercover cop said, adding again that her “family” would only be willing to deal with it if Asp gave every little detail she could.

Asp told how Larue and Seybold got into a fist fight and, when Seybold seemed to be getting the upper hand, Asp picked up the baseball bat.

In the video, Asp said she hit him in the head three times and heard his skull crack. She said Larue continued to hit him and then set the cabin on fire.

The demand for every little detail continued as Asp explained how they backed into a tree on their way out of Seybold’s property and decided to cover it up by backing into a pole in an arena parking lot in Whitehorse later on.

Asp said in the video that they burned all the clothes they were wearing and later took her mom to the bar.

She also explained the names they used on their bus tickets down to Alberta about a week and a half later.

The video recorded Asp describing her alcoholic mother and how, as a young girl, Asp always had to protect her mother and her younger brothers and sisters.

After the prosecution was done presenting the tape, it was the defence lawyer’s turn.

B.C. lawyer Ken Tessovitch asked the undercover officer, who was on the witness stand, whether he was aware of how long the “crime family,” made up entirely of undercover cops, had been fostering a relationship with Asp.

He didn’t know, he said, as he was only called in to help facilitate the “crime-boss scenario” in the video.

Tessovitch asked if he was aware they had been providing Asp with a hotel, taking her out to restaurants and giving her alcohol.

He wasn’t aware of that, he said.

Tessovitch also asked whether he was aware that they had been trying to sell the “good life of crime” and had been giving gifts to Asp.

Noting that the witness is a bit of an expert on these “crime-boss scenarios,” Tessovitch asked if these operations ever use any form of brainwashing.

They didn’t, the witness professed.

Tessovitch was not convinced.

These “Mr. Big” operations, as they are called by police, involve many undercover officers all pretending to be criminals. In this case, the “Ms. Big” operation is the reason why this trial is expected to be the biggest in the territory’s history, both in time and cost.

And it was an operation that depended on lying to a vulnerable “target,” Tessovitch argued.

By the end of the week, the jury, made up of 12 women and two men, also heard from a former neighbour of Seybold’s who was the community’s volunteer fire chief. He helped put out the fire at the cabin.

The court also heard from Seybold’s former common-law wife who lived with him at his cabin for most of the 1980s. She testified that she told police she had concerns about Asp’s and Asp’s mother’s relationship with Seybold before his death.

She will return to the stand when the trial resumes on Monday.

The trial is scheduled to last for three months and to hear from more than 80 witnesses.

Contact Roxanne Stasyszyn at

roxannes@yukon-news.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A proposed Official Community Plan amendment would designate a 56.3-hectare piece of land in Whistle Bend currently designated as green space, as urban residential use. Whitehorse city council will vote on the second reading of the Official Community Plan amendment on Dec. 7. (Courtesy City of Whitehorse)
Future area of Whistle Bend considered by council

Members set to vote on second reading for OCP change

The City of Whitehorse’s projected deficit could be $100,000 more than originally predicted earlier this year. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
City deficit could be just over $640,000 this year

Third quarter financial reports presented to council

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley speaks during a COVID-19 press conference in Whitehorse on Oct. 30. Masks became mandatory in the Yukon for anyone five years old and older as of Dec. 1 while in public spaces. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
As mask law comes into effect, premier says $500 fines will be last resort

The territory currently has 17 active cases of COVID-19

Crystal Schick/Yukon News file
Ranj Pillai, minister of economic development, during a press conference on April 1.
Government rejects ATAC mining road proposal north of Keno City

Concerns from the First Nation of Na-Cho Nyäk Dun were cited as the main reason for the decision

asdf
WYATT’S WORLD

Wyatt’s World for Dec. 2, 2020

The new Little Salmon Carmacks First Nation council elected Dec. 1. (Submitted)
Little Salmon Carmacks elects new chief, council

Nicole Tom elected chief of Little Salmon Carcmacks First Nation

Submitted/Yukon News file
Yukon RCMP’s Historical Case Unit is seeking information related to the unsolved homicide of Allan Donald Waugh, 69, who was found deceased in his house on May 30, 2014.
Yukon RCMP investigating unsolved Allan Waugh homicide

Yukon RCMP’s Historical Case Unit is seeking information related to an unsolved… Continue reading

A jogger runs along Millenium Trail as the sun rises over the trees around 11 a.m. in Whitehorse on Dec. 12, 2018. The City of Whitehorse could soon have a new trail plan in place to serve as a guide in managing the more than 233 kilometres of trails the city manages. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
2020 trail plan comes forward

Policies and bylaws would look at e-mobility devices

Snow-making machines are pushed and pulled uphill at Mount Sima in 2015. The ski hill will be converting snow-making to electric power with more than $5 million in funding from the territorial and federal governments. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
Mount Sima funded to cut diesel reliance

Mount Sima ski hill is converting its snowmaking to electric power with… Continue reading

Colin McDowell, the director of land management for the Yukon government, pulls lottery tickets at random during a Whistle Bend property lottery in Whitehorse on Sept. 9, 2019. A large amount of lots are becoming available via lottery in Whistle Bend as the neighbourhood enters phase five of development. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Lottery for more than 250 new Whistle Bend lots planned for January 2021

Eight commercial lots are being tendered in additional to residential plots

The Government of Yukon Main Administration Building in Whitehorse on Aug. 21. The Canada Border Services Agency announced Nov. 26 that they have laid charges against six people, including one Government of Yukon employee, connected to immigration fraud that involved forged Yukon government documents. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Charges laid in immigration fraud scheme, warrant out for former Yukon government employee

Permanent residency applications were submitted with fake Yukon government documents

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Mask fundraiser helps make children’s wishes come true

From Black Press Media + BraveFace – adult, youth and kid masks support Make-A-Wish Foundation

Whitehorse City Hall. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
City hall, briefly

A look at decisions made by Whitehorse city council this week

Most Read