Jury in William Sandeson murder trial sees police interrogation video

MacKenzie Ruthven was emotional and quite upset as she finished testifying at the murder trial of  24-year-old William Sandeson.

READ: Halifax court jammed by prospective jurors for Dalhousie medical student’s murder trial

Sandeson is facing a charge of first-degree murder in connection with the homicide of 22-year-old Taylor Samson.

Ruthven had been dating Samson for six months when he disappeared. She told the court that she briefly saw him during the day on Aug. 15, 2015. Ruthven said the pair had made plans to go to a nightclub in downtown Halifax that evening when Samson stepped out for a few minutes and never returned.

She told the seven-man, seven-woman jury that she repeatedly sent text messages and called Samson’s phone but was unable to get in touch with him. Ruthven said she has never had any contact with her boyfriend since that day.

WATCH: Murder trial hears from police, Taylor Samson’s girlfriend


The Crown also called Det/Const. Roger Sayer to the stand. Sayer is a member of the Halifax Regional Police and the lead investigator on the Taylor Samson file.

After a few introductory questions from Crown Attorney Susan MacKay, Sayer introduced two interrogation videos into evidence.

Both of the videos were taken at Halifax police headquarters on Gottingen Street after Sandeson was arrested in connection with Samson’s missing persons case.

READ: Murder victim last seen at William Sandeson’s apartment building, prosecutor tells jury

The interrogation video is different from the first video that the jury saw during the trial. In that recording, Sandeson was questioned by a police officer as a potential witness in connection with Samson’s disappearance, not as a suspect.

In the videos presented to the court on Tuesday, a police officer told Sandeson that investigators were at his Henry Street apartment and searching it for evidence and asked Sandeson over and over again where Taylor was.

READ: Jury shown gun, bullets and cash seized from William Sandeson’s apartment

At the beginning of the interrogation with police, Sandeson denies knowing anything about the whereabouts of Samson. After a few hours of questioning, Sandeson changes his story and tells police that while Samson was at his apartment, several people broke in and may have taken Samson.

Sandeson goes on to tell police that there was a lot of blood at the residence and admits to cleaning it up and hiding money that was left behind. The officer then hammers away at Sandeson, asking why he would clean up the apartment and send text messages from his phone to Samson’s phone after this allegedly happened.

That’s where the video stopped and court was recessed for the day.

WATCH: William Sandeson ‘confident’ as murder trial begins in Halifax: defence

Despite searching multiple locations, including a farm in Lower Truro, N.S., which is owned by Sandeson’s family, police have never been able to locate Samson’s remains.

READ MORE: Taylor Samson’s mother pleads for her son’s body at Sandeson bail hearing

Although it is unusual to have a murder trial without a body, the Crown says it’s not unheard of.

In total, 32 court days spanning eight weeks have been set aside to hear the trial. Testimony is scheduled to resume Wednesday.

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