Jessie Asp denied having anything to do with the death of Gordon Seybold.
Two days on the witness stand ended with her being accused by defence lawyer Ray Dieno of murdering Seybold. She denied the charge.
“I could be capable, yes, but I did not do that,” she said.
Norman Larue is facing a first-degree murder charge for Seybold’s March 2008 death.
The Crown alleges that Larue and his fiance at the time, Christina Asp (Jessie’s oldest daughter) beat Seybold with a baseball bat and then set fire to his Ibex Valley cabin.
On the first day of the trial the jury heard a tape of him describing to an undercover police officer how he and Christina murdered Seybold.
Larue said that Seybold had disrespected his mother-in-law, but that his big motivation was money.
Seybold had been growing and selling marijuana from his home on the Old Alaska Highway for years.
Jessie knew all about the grow-op. Her former common-law partner, Larry Brault, was Seybold’s best friend and often house-sat for Seybold when he went away in the winter.
Larue said on the tape that when his mother-in-law told him about the grow-op, “All I seen was money.”
The day before the fire, Jessie ran into Seybold at the Shoppers Drug Mart in the Qwanlin Mall.
Jessie testified that they said hello and she asked him about his recent trip to Asia.
She said that she didn’t remember introducing Seybold to anybody that day, but security camera footage played for the court confirmed that both Christina and Larue were there at the same time.
Jessie said that she has a very poor memory. Years of drinking and “dope smoking” have taken their toll, she said.
Throughout her testimony, Jessie constantly referred to a date book she uses to keep track of things.
Ray Dieno, Larue’s lawyer, argued that Jessie’s memory was also very selective.
Jessie testified Larue told her that he was going to go out to Seybold’s place to get money, but that she told him not to.
“I said, ‘No, don’t, because it will come back on me,’” said Jessie.
She was worried about Seybold getting mad at her for letting someone come out to his place.
“I did not think of any criminal things or anything,” said Jessie.
But she didn’t always remember that conversation, pointed out Dieno.
In fact, it was only after being questioned by police nine times over several years that she was able to remember it, he said.
It wasn’t until March 2012, four years after Seybold’s death, that she told police about the conversation.
Dieno accused her of lying in order to shift the blame off herself.
“When you came up with it was when you read in the paper about Christina putting things on you. Correct?” he asked.
“Yes,” said Jessie, but she insisted her version of events was also true.
She also described a videotape that the police played for her in which Christina implicated her in Seybold’s death.
Christina was convicted of Seybold’s murder in lengthy trial last year.
When questioning Jessie in March 2012, police asked her why she had never brought this information up before.
“I don’t know, I don’t know – probably because they were both blaming me,” said Dieno, quoting from Jessie’s statement.
The trial continues next week.
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