Family and friends of Leanne Friesen became concerned when they hadn’t heard from her and she wasn’t returning their calls starting on the evening of Feb. 4, 2013.
But it wasn’t until two days later that her body was found in the garage of her Abbotsford home while her two kids and estranged husband, Jeffrey Friesen, were in the residence.
Crown lawyer Scott Quendack revealed these details in his opening statements during the first day of Friesen’s trial Monday in B.C. Supreme Court in New Westminster.
Friesen, 44, is on trial for the second-degree murder of Leanne, 40, whose body was found by police on the evening of Feb. 6, 2013. Investigators confirmed that she had been shot.
Quendack said the couple had married in the year 2000, but separated in the fall of 2012. Leanne and their son and daughter – now ages 14 and 16 – remained in the home.
Quendack said the Crown will present evidence over the course of the trial, which is expected to take five weeks, that will show Leanne had been unhappy in her marriage but that Friesen did not want the marriage to end.
Quendack said neighbours will testify that they heard “loud bangs” in the early morning of Feb. 5 coming from the Friesen home, but they did not report the sounds to police.
He said Leanne came from a close family who stayed in constant contact and, when they couldn’t reach her, her brother called police on the evening of Feb. 6 to report their concerns.
Officers arrived at the residence to find Friesen and the two kids in the home, and soon discovered Leanne’s body in the garage. Friesen was arrested at the scene.
Quendack said the Crown’s evidence will show that police found a shell casing in a closet in the home and a gun inside Friesen’s vehicle, which was parked in the driveway.
He said the Crown’s witnesses will include a firearms expert, who will testify that the spent shell casing had been discharged from the gun found in Friesen’s vehicle.
“It’s the Crown’s theory that Leanne Friesen was shot to death by Jeffrey Friesen, her estranged husband, and it’s the Crown’s theory that he did so because he was unable or unwilling to accept her desire to end their marriage,” Quendack said.
Read Wednesday’s edition of the Abbotsford News or visit abbynews.com to read more on the opening day of the trial.