The accused was questioned for several hours by police. Mr. Calnen essentially maintained his right to silence for the first approximate nine hours of questioning and then admitted (shortly after the victim’s mother was brought into the interview room) to burning the victim’s body. He then provided the police with a re-enactment of how the victim died.
Issues: Should some, all or none of the statements (including the re-enactment) be excised on the basis that their prejudicial impact outweighs their probative value?
A six-day voir dire was held to determine the admissibility of statements made by the accused to persons in authority. The Crown sought to admit the statements and introduce them for the truth of their contents as part of the Crown’s case in the upcoming jury trial.
Following his arrest, the accused was interviewed by various police officers over the course of approximately ten hours. After a six-hour break, the accused was interviewed for another four hours when a decision was made to bring the victim’s mother into the interview room. Following approximately 35 minutes of questioning by the mother (in the presence of a police officer, who also had questions) the accused confessed to knowing the location of the victim’s ashes. Roughly a half hour after this revelation, the victim’s mother left the interview room and the police continued to question the accused. The accused provided further details and agreed to carry out a re enactment of how the victim’s death occurred. The accused then carried out the re-enactment and it was video/audio recorded by the police.