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Judge's decision next year in Jesse West's murder trial
The judge's verdict is scheduled for Jan. 21 in Jesse Blue West's murder trial.
Closing arguments by Crown and defence lawyers ended Tuesday in B.C. Supreme Court in Chilliwack, and Justice William Grist has reserved his decision on whether West is guilty of the first-degree murder of Chelsey Acorn, 14.
Acorn was reported missing from an Abbotsford foster home on June 10, 2005 and her body was found the following April in a wooded area off the Coquihalla Highway near the Carolin Mines exit.
Her skull had been crushed by a large rock, and she had been buried naked in a shallow grave. She was identified through dental records.
West's son, Dustin Moir, was convicted of Acorn's murder in February 2010 and was sentenced to life in prison with no parole eligibility for 25 years.
The pair were both targets of a 2007 "Mr. Big" operation in which they confessed separately to a "crime boss" – actually an undercover officer – that they had killed Acorn.
During his trial, West, 60, testified that he lied to the crime boss in order to win favour with him so that he could earn money as a member of the criminal organization.
West said his only role in the murder was to bury Acorn's body after his son had killed her during an argument at a campground.
Acorn and Moir were in a relationship at the time, West testified.
In videotaped evidence shown at West's trial, he told two officers that he had knowledge of two other murders. He testified that he lied about those incidents in an effort to cut a deal and be moved from deplorable conditions in the segregation unit where he was imprisoned.
West has been in jail since his arrest in the spring of 2007. His trial began Sept. 11.