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Closing addresses in Colton Cook murder trial

By Jakob Postlewaite Jan 24, 2023 | 7:08 PM

Yarmouth Courthouse.

Closing statements today in the case of the murder of Colton Cook.

Warning: This story contains graphic and disturbing details.

Lawyers for Robert Rogers, accused of second degree murder and interference with human remains, were the first to make their case to the jury.

They began by discussing hearsay in the case such as testimony from Keith Siscoe Jr. and Rogers about statements made to them by Wayne Crawford and speculative comments made by RCMP Cpl. Ben Kershaw while video from a garage near the South Ohio home connected to the case was played.

Crawford has pleaded guilty to second degree murder in the case while Siscoe Jr. has pleaded guilty to accessory after the fact to murder.

The defense also questioned the credibility of witnesses, particularly Siscoe Jr., who they said had previously been dishonest about his involvement in Cook’s death. They said Siscoe Jr. had been acting out of his own self interest and could not describe everything that took place on the night of September 25, 2020.

Siscoe Jr. had given testimony of his account of the night Colton Cook had died.

The defense argued their client, Rogers, was credible in his testimony because he had been consistent in denying remembering the events of the night Cook had died, though he could not be considered reliable due to his issues with alcohol.

They also said the DNA evidence presented did not provide conclusive proof of Rogers involvement. They argued a DNA match with Rogers found on a chainsaw, which also had DNA matches to Cook, could be from previous use and Cook’s blood found on a pair of Rogers’ jeans could be from blood in the South Ohio home or from when Rogers disposed of Cook’s truck and severed leg, which he admitted recalling while testifying yesterday.

Crown attorneys began their closing address by repeating the note written by Rogers, found in the home of Keith Siscoe Sr.: “My name is Robert Rogers I’m responsible for Colton Cook’s death.”

The crown walked through the testimony given by Siscoe Jr. and from Rogers interrogation with RCMP Sgt. Greg Vardy, matching up points such as Siscoe Jr. and Cook’s arrivals at the South Ohio home and what Rogers had been doing in the home at the time, cutting up stalks of marijuana.

They detailed the injuries to Cook’s body, describing them for the jury and their defensive nature. The Crown also discussed the DNA evidence found on the chainsaw and a machete that matched Cook and about a greasy black substance found on Cook’s body.

They also questioned Rogers fear of Siscoe Jr. threatening to harm his daughter due to his threat in a letter to Siscoe Sr. to “sink” Siscoe Jr. in court unless he was paid $500.

The Crown ended by saying Rogers actions after the death of Cook to burn his truck, dispose of his severed leg and burn materials in the South Ohio home showed his intentions to cover his tracks. They suggested Rogers also had the intention to kill Colton Cook.

This afternoon the lawyers and presiding Justice Pierre Muise began discussing the instructions that will be given to the jury.

The jury will return tomorrow afternoon to begin receiving those instructions.


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