Second-degree murder trial begins in domestic violence case
Haiden Suarez Noa has admitted killing his girlfriend, Tania Cowell, in their Stoney Creek apartment in 2013
A MORNING in 2013, a man with a baby walked into the Guelph police station. He told the officer at the front desk he had murdered his girlfriend in Stoney Creek the night before and was turning himself in.
That man was Haiden Suarez Noa, who is now on trial for second-degree murder in the stabbing death of Tania Cowell, 36, on March 9, 2013.
Suarez Noa, 41, has admitted killing Cowell, his girlfriend and mother of his son. The boy was still a baby at the time.
Suarez Noa has pleaded guilty to manslaughter.
On the higher charge of seconddegree murder, he has pleaded not guilty.
His trial began Thursday with assistant Crown attorney Janet Booy delivering her opening address to the jury.
She said there is no dispute that Suarez Noa killed Cowell.
“The issue is his intent at the time he killed her,” Booy told the jury.
“The evidence will show he stabbed her 11 times with a kitchen knife. One stab wound in the back and 10 stab wounds in her chest and neck area.”
Booy said that in the 27 hours preceding the fatal stabbing, Suarez Noa and Cowell continuously argued via text messages and Cowell repeatedly berated him for not helping her clean the apartment.
“The evidence will show he stabbed her 11 times with a kitchen knife. One stab wound in the back and 10 stab wounds in her chest and neck area.” JANET BOOY Assistant Crown attorney
Booy said Cowell had also texted him that their relationship was over and that he should find his own place.
But by 6 p.m. that day, according to Booy, Cowell had a change of heart and told him she would give him one final chance.
Booy said the jury will also hear evidence from a pathologist that four of the 11 stab wounds were lethal on their own because each one penetrated major arteries.
Suarez Noa then took a photo of Cowell’s “lifeless body lying on the living room floor,” packed up their son, locked the apartment door, drove to Guelph and checked into a hotel, Booy said.
The next morning, Suarez Noa walked into the Guelph police station carrying his son in his car seat and told the officer he had murdered his girlfriend, Booy said.
Among the witnesses called to give evidence Thursday was Const. Brian Gemin of the Guelph Police Service.
Gemin testified he was working the morning of Sunday, March 10, 2013, when a man came in carrying a baby in a baby seat.
“His first comment to me was, ‘I don’t know how to do this. I’m here to turn myself in and I just want to know that my baby is taken care of.’ ”
When Gemin asked him if there were any arrest warrants out for him, Suarez Noa told him, “I killed my girlfriend. I murdered her,” and said it happened in Hamilton, Stoney Creek.
“He said, ‘I’m not kidding. This is not a joke. She’s dead,’ ” Gemin testified.
“I asked if there was a chance she’d still be alive. He said, ‘No. It happened last night.’ He said, ‘I just lost it. I stabbed her. She tried to come at me, and I lost it.’ ”
Gemin said Suarez Noa told him the knife might still be in the apartment, that his girlfriend’s name was Tania Cowell, and that he had driven her car to Guelph.
Gemin said he placed Suarez Noa under arrest and contacted Hamilton police.
Suarez Noa’s driver’s licence had a Guelph address, Gemin said.
Under questioning from defence lawyer Charn Gill, Gemin agreed it is rare for someone to walk into the station and admit to a crime when there is no arrest warrant out for them.
Gemin also agreed Suarez Noa was anxious and nervous, but polite and cooperative.
Court also heard from two women living in the same Stoney Creek apartment building on Cherrywood Drive about what they heard from their apartments the night of the stabbing.
Both heard a scream and running from Cowell’s apartment.
One heard someone yell, “Bitch.”
Tania Cowell was stabbed to death on March 9, 2013.