Mur­der sus­pect told po­lice miss­ing ex likely went on ben­der

Calgary Sun - - NEWS - KEVIN MARTIN kmartin@postmedia.com @KMart­inCourts

As po­lice searched for a miss­ing Calgary woman, her ex-boyfriend — the man now charged with her mur­der — sug­gested she may have gone on a drink­ing spree.

The day after Jes­sica New­man’s room­mate re­ported her miss­ing on March 13, 2015, po­lice spoke to Kevin Rubletz about her pos­si­ble where­abouts, court heard Tues­day.

“My in­for­ma­tion was that Mr. Rubletz was the last per­son to see Jes­sica,” Sgt. Matt Baker told Crown pros­e­cu­tor Tom Spark, of the ac­cused pick­ing up New­man from work the evening of March 10, 2015.

Baker said he ar­ranged to meet at the Wood­bine home of Rubletz’s then-girl­friend the morn­ing after the miss­ing­per­son in­ves­ti­ga­tion be­gan.

Rubletz, 33, who is charged with sec­ond-de­gree mur­der in New­man’s stab­bing death, was calm dur­ing the in­ter­view with Baker and his part­ner, Det. Wayne Virks.

New­man’s half-naked, badly de­com­posed body was found May 4, off a ru­ral road near Balzac.

In the po­lice in­ter­view, the ac­cused said he picked up New­man at 9 p.m. at the Wa­ter Grill bar, they went for a quick cof­fee to dis­cuss a court pro­ceed­ing the fol­low­ing day in­volv­ing shared cus­tody of their son and he dropped her off at her home at 9:30 p.m.

“She said she was go­ing out,” Rubletz told the of­fi­cers in a taped in­ter­view played be­fore a Court of Queen’s Bench jury.

Rubletz said New­man failed to show up in court the next day.

“I fig­ured she just went out drink­ing,” he said, adding New­man had an al­co­hol is­sue in the past, which led to him get­ting pri­mary par­ent­ing of their son.

“Two Hal­loweens ago she went to a party. She didn’t come home for two days,” Rubletz said.

Be­fore their son was born, he told the of­fi­cers, New­man had dis­ap­peared for three days, he added.

“She was a black­out drunk,” he said.

Baker asked Rubletz if he was con­cerned for New­man’s safety.

“Now I am,” he said.

Two days later, the of­fi­cers ar­ranged to meet Rubletz at New­man’s work­place so he could take them on the route he and the de­ceased trav­elled the night she dis­ap­peared.

It was dur­ing that dis­cus­sion the ac­cused re­vealed he didn’t go straight home after drop­ping her off.

Rubletz told po­lice New­man had kissed him on the cheek and he went for a drive to “clear his head” be­cause he still had feel­ings for her.

The ac­cused then took po­lice on the route he fol­lowed that night, which even­tu­ally led to the Balzac turnoff from High­way 2 north of the city.

Un­der cross-ex­am­i­na­tion by de­fence lawyer Bren­dan Miller, Baker agreed Rubletz only changed his story once his new girl­friend wasn’t present to hear about how he still felt for New­man.

The trial con­tin­ues on Wed­nes­day.

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