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Woman testifies murder suspect had complete control over women he abused

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WINNIPEG — A woman says she helped hide another woman’s dead body in a barrel filled with chemicals because the man accused in the killing had total control over her after years of abuse.

“He probably could have told me to try and catch the sun and I would have done it,” Holley Sullivan, 30, told jurors Friday at Perez Cleveland’s first-degree murder trial.

Cleveland, 46, has pleaded not guilty in the death of 42-year-old Jennifer Barrett, whose body was found in a barrel behind their Winnipeg home in 2016.

Earlier this week, court heard that Cleveland shared the house with his adult daughter and five women who were described in court by one of them as “sister wives.”

Sullivan started dating Cleveland after they met while working at a call centre in Toronto in 2010. She was 21 and he was 36. She told court she didn’t know he was also in a relationship with another woman until she moved in with them the following year.

“Perez was very charming,” she said.

Yet, she described years of physical violence in the household.

GRAPHIC WARNING: This story contains details that may disturb some readers.

On one occasion, he threatened her with a meat cleaver while she was stripped naked and wrapped in duct tape, Sullivan said. Another time, he tied her to a bed and attempted to sexually assault her with a hot curling iron.

One of Barrett’s family members left the courtroom as other graphic abuse was detailed — the use of crossbows and the staging of a so-called kill room from the television show “Dexter.”

Sullivan said Cleveland’s favourite phrase was: “If you cannot listen, then you must feel.”

He also threatened to hurt her family if she ever tried to leave, she said.

Court heard that the unusual group — which Barrett joined in 2012 — moved to Winnipeg in 2014. Soon after, Sullivan was jailed for a credit card scam that she said she did at Cleveland’s behest.

By her release in 2016, two more women had joined the group, including Jessica Reid, 36, who testified Thursday about similar beatings in the home.

Cleveland’s lawyer has argued that Reid was jealous of Barrett’s relationship with Cleveland and acted violently toward Barrett. Reid is also charged with being an accessory after the fact, but her case has not yet gone to trial.

“Perez had an uncanny knack of making them think the abuse he inflicted on them was their fault,” Sullivan testified.

She told court that in August 2016, Cleveland punished Barrett over several days in the basement of their house because he believed she was cheating on him.

The marks of extreme violence were all over Barrett’s body, said Sullivan, who added she helped the woman shower because she couldn’t lift her arms. “She was literally black and blue from head to toe.”

Cleveland later told her that Barrett had died and asked her and Reid to dispose of the body, Sullivan said, because she had a diploma in forensic biotechnology.

She told court she researched liquid cremations online, and she and Reid placed Barrett’s body in a barrel with a mix of drain cleaner and water. They also heated up the barrel with a blowtorch to speed up decomposition.

Sullivan told the jury she lived with Cleveland for a few months after Barrett’s death, then went to a women’s shelter.

“He said to me that Jen was an accident, but he was going to kill me intentionally and enjoy it,” Sullivan said.

The trail is to continue on Tuesday with her cross examination by the defence.

Kelly Geraldine Malone, The Canadian Press

COVID-19

Video attacking Canada’s response to COVID created by Conservative leadership hopeful is going viral

Published on

This video was posted by MP Erin O’Toole.

The RCAF veteran, and former Minister of Veterans Affairs is running to replace Andrew Scheer and hoping to become Canada’s next Prime Minister.

The video is a scathing review of Canada’s response to the COVID-19 crisis.  It has already been viewed well over half a million times.

From the Facebook page of Erin 0’Toole  

The Truth About COVID-19

➡️ The Chinese regime, the WHO and the Trudeau government DO NOT want people to see this.Let's make sure Canadians see the truth! 👍🇨🇦

Posted by Erin O'Toole on Thursday, May 21, 2020

 

NDP makes support for suspending Commons contingent on permanent sick leave

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National

Captain Jennifer Casey killed in Snowbirds accident

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Captain Jennifer Casey

One Canadian military member killed and one injured in CF Snowbirds accident

Ottawa – National Defence / Canadian Armed Forces

One member of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) was killed on Sunday May 17, 2020 and one other member injured in an accident involving a Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) CT-114 Tutor aircraft in the vicinity of Kamloops, British Columbia.

Killed was Captain Jennifer Casey, the team’s Public Affairs Officer, originally from Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Captain Richard MacDougall, one of the team’s coordinators and pilot of the aircraft, was injured and is being treated for his injuries.

The Canadian Forces Snowbirds were deployed on Operation INSPIRATION, a cross-Canada tour to lift the spirits of Canadians and salute front-line workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. At the time of the accident, the CF Snowbirds were taking off from the airport in Kamloops, British Columbia.

The CAF are providing our members and their families with as much support as possible to help them through this difficult time.

A RCAF Flight Safety team will depart from Ottawa shortly to investigate the circumstances of the accident and will begin their work immediately upon arrival.

Additional multimedia

Captain Jenn Casey, CF Snowbirds Public Affairs Officer

Quotes

“I was deeply saddened to learn of the loss of one of our Canadian Armed Forces members in a tragic incident involving one of our Snowbirds’ aircraft in Kamloops, British Columbia. I am sending my sincerest condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of Captain Jenn Casey. I am also wishing a rapid and complete recovery for Captain Richard MacDougall.

Canadians look at the Snowbirds as a source of joy and an exhibition of the incredible feats that our people in uniform are capable of. Operation INSPIRATION was intended to lift the spirit of Canadians at this difficult time and the Snowbirds accomplished their mission. I know that all Canadians grieve this tragic loss.”

The Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of National Defence.

“Another tragedy has hit our Canadian Armed Forces. The Snowbirds’ Op INSPIRATION brought joy to Canadians across our country. Today, we come together in their time of need. To the family of Captain Jenn Casey we send our condolences, know that she was an inspiration to many and she will be missed. To Captain Richard MacDougall, we wish you a speedy recovery.”

General Jonathan Vance, Chief of the Defence Staff 

“The whole Defence Team family is deeply saddened by the loss of Captain Jenn Casey. Deepest condolences to her loved ones, and to her colleagues in the Snowbirds, the RCAF and her fellow Public Affairs Officers. We also wish Captain Richard MacDougall a steady recovery through these most difficult of times.”

Jody Thomas, Deputy Minister of National Defence

“Today, the RCAF has suffered another tragic loss of a dedicated member of the RCAF team. We grieve alongside Jenn’s family, friends and colleagues and are deeply saddened. Our thoughts also go out to the loved ones of Captain Richard MacDougall. We hope for a swift recovery from his injuries.”

Lieutenant General Al Meinzinger, Commander Royal Canadian Air Force

Quick facts

  • The CT-114 Tutor fleet has been placed on an operational pause and Op INSPIRATION has been delayed indefinitely.
  • Captain Jenn Casey is from Halifax, Nova Scotia. She joined the Canadian Armed Forces in August 2014 as a direct entry officer. Captain Casey joined the Canadian Forces Snowbirds in November 2018.
  • A Flight Safety Investigation will be conducted to ensure our personnel can continue to have confidence in our equipment and procedures. One of the aims of the Flight Safety program is to investigate such occurrences with the objective of quickly identifying effective preventive measures that will either prevent or reduce the risk of similar occurrences in the future.
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