November 5, 2020
Toronto Star
By Carola Vyhnak

murder mimicked favourite lyrics, trial told

  Peterborough, Ont.-It's a song about a young man who kills his mother and buries her body under a tree in the backyard. Sung by rapper Eminem, it was a favourite of the 14-year-old boy, court has heard.

The day after he was charged with murdering his mother, police discovered her body buried in their backyard near the base of a tree, Crown attorney David Thompson told a jury in the Superior Court of Justice Wednesday.

The 33-year-old woman had been shot in the head and neck eight times, he said in his opening statement. Thompson said her son, now 16, is guilty of a "planned and deliberate" murder on May 27, 2008, at their home in Warkworth, an hour and a half northeast of Toronto.

The song, "Cleaning out my Closet," was burned onto a CD the teen gave another youth, telling him "he really liked it," Thompson told the jury.

Hours after his arrest on June 12, 2008, the teen made a comment to a youth worker about "brains splattered on the wall," court heard.

Jason Woodbeck, who met the youth when he arrived at a detention centre in Oshawa, testified that he overheard the comment through the PA system in his office.

The teen can't be identified under the terms of the Youth Criminal Justice Act. A 35-year-old man who owned the house where the woman and her son lived has also been charged with first-degree murder.

The youth was caught on video trying to use his mother's bank card after she disappeared, they heard. Police found a 22-calibre rifle in a river after the youth told them the co-accused had thrown a long object in it, Thompson said.