Family of slain woman hopes trial brings closure
Prosecutor says suspect beat, raped victim after she rejected his advance
Relatives of slain Calgary mom Dawns Echoes Baptiste are hoping the trial of the man charged in her killing will bring them some closure.
Alex and Verlyn Baptiste spoke Monday about their hope that justice will prevail at the conclusion of Curtis Healy’s jury trial.
Healy is charged with first-degree murder in the Feb. 11, 2015 slaying of Dawns Baptiste, whose body was found in a Whitehorn area yard two days after she was killed.
“I’m really glad that this day has finally come,” said Verlyn Baptiste, who considered her cousin Dawn like a sister.
“I’m hoping there will be justice for her so we can just move on and put this in the past, and the kids can move on also,” she said, of the slain woman’s four children.
“It’s been really traumatic for them, because they have no mother going on four years. They’re still small, they need a parent, they need a mother.”
Alex Baptiste said it was hard being in the same courtroom as the man accused of raping and murdering his sister.
“There’s so much emotion, hurt,” he said. “It was pretty hard to deal with something like that.”
He said having the trial completed should bring the family some closure.
“We wanted to finally put our sister to rest.”
In her opening address to jurors, Crown prosecutor Carla MacPhail said the deceased met Healy on the CTrain after she and Alex went their separate ways the night of Feb. 10, 2015.
Healy and Dawns Baptiste spent a couple of hours together, MacPhail said.
A stranger found the dead woman’s body face down in the backyard of a Whitehorn home two days later, the prosecutor said.
The victim’s pants and underwear were pulled down.
MacPhail said that, after his arrest, Healy told police the deceased rejected his sexual advance. He threw her to the ground in a rage, stomped her, dragged her through bushes and raped her.
He then told a homicide detective he used a rock to “finish her off,” the prosecutor told jurors.
MacPhail said surveillance video shows Baptiste with a man wearing a camouflage print jacket.
When Healy was arrested for the crime he was wearing a similar jacket.
DNA will also establish Healy’s semen was found on the victim and her blood was on his shoes, MacPhail said.
The trial is scheduled for three weeks.
Healy, who pleaded not guilty, is in custody pending resolution of the case.