Jesse Blue West told an undercover police officer posing as the boss of a crime ring that he killed 14-year-old Chelsey Acorn in 2005 to protect his son, who had “forced himself” on the teen.
“I turned around to him, and said, ‘I can bury the problem,’ ” West said to the “crime boss” in video footage recorded as part of a “Mr. Big” undercover police sting.
The 2 1/2-hour footage was shown Tuesday at West’s first-degree murder trial in B.C. Supreme Court in Chilliwack. Video cameras had been hidden in a Calgary hotel room on March 10, 2007 during West’s meeting with a man he thought was the boss of a lucrative criminal organization.
West, now 61, had been working for the fake operation – run by undercover officers posing as members of the group – for several weeks prior to the meeting, and believed the boss wanted to talk with him before permitting his involvement in an upcoming “big score.”
In the footage, the “boss” told West that, although West had come with a high recommendation from one of the crew, he had heard rumors about his possible involvement in Acorn’s murder.
“There are concerns. There are loose ends and there is DNA,” the boss said.
“Well, they don’t have my DNA,” West said later in the conversation.
Through the course of the meeting, West revealed in matter-of-fact detail the circumstances of Acorn’s murder.
West, a long-haul trucker, said he had returned to his home in Surrey from a trucking job to find tension between his 19-year-old son, Dustin Moir of Abbotsford, and Acorn, whom Moir had been dating for about two weeks. The pair had been temporarily staying at West’s residence.
West said Moir had either “forced himself on her or got her drunk,” and he was worried that Acorn would report the incident to police.
West told Moir that he knew of a spot where they could dig a hole and nobody would ever know what happened.
The following day, the trio drove from Surrey to a wooded area off the Coquihalla Highway, near the Carolin Mines exit outside of Hope. While Moir and Acorn went for a walk, he dug a five-foot-deep hole, West told the crime boss.
The couple returned to the area and Moir laid out a blanket, upon which the pair became intimate and he removed her clothes. Moir walked away to have a cigarette and West said he approached Acorn from behind, wrapped his right arm around her neck in a headlock, tilted her head back and “gave it a good squeeze.”
According to West, Moir returned to the scene and dumped Acorn’s naked body in the hole. West said he then threw a layer of rocks into the hole, followed by about three feet of dirt. He said he placed about eight large rocks on the top, which he thought would keep animals from digging up the body.
West told the crime boss that he left no evidence behind. He disposed of Acorn’s clothes in a dumpster in another city, and threw into the ocean the shovel used to dig the hole, as well as a machete used to cut down branches. He got rid of his car at the scrapyard.
West said he also hired two women to thoroughly clean his residence, including scrubbing the walls, so that none of Acorn’s DNA evidence was left behind.
Later in the footage, during further questioning by the crime boss, West said he slit the throat of a man in Ontario in the early 1970s over a drug debt, and buried the man’s body in a gravel quarry. He provided the victim’s name, but investigators later proved that the man was still living at the time of the confession.
Acorn was reported missing from an Abbotsford foster home in June 2005, and her body was found by hikers in April 2006.
Moir was charged as part of the same “Mr. Big” operation and received a life sentence in February 2010 with no chance of parole for 25 years.