Convicted murderer Joseph Laboucan didn’t paint a very clear picture yesterday in court when recalling the details of the brutal murder of 13-year-old Nina Courtepatte.
The now 21-year-old man — sentenced to life in prison for murder in the case — denies any involvement in the rape and murder of the girl. He testified yesterday that on the cold night in April 2005, he saw convicted killer Stephanie Bird hit Courtepatte from behind with a wrench, and that Michael Briscoe jumped in, hitting her repeatedly with a blunt object.
To date, Briscoe is the only person out of the group of five charged who has been acquitted.
A 19-year-old woman, who was 16 at the time of the crime, is the last to stand trial.
She is accused of first-degree murder, sexual assault and kidnapping.
At her trial, Laboucan testified he didn’t remember many details about the murder or how it happened. He claims that he and Courtepatte “made out” on the way to the west end golf course, where her lifeless body was eventually found. Laboucan said that after Bird and Briscoe repeatedly beat Courtepatte, he walked back to the vehicle, and noticed she was no longer with the group.
“I knew why she wasn’t there,” he said. “But I didn’t know if she was alive or dead at the time.”
He said that after getting back into the car, Briscoe turned and threatened him to keep his mouth shut about the murder.
“He said, ‘if you tell anyone, I’ll kill you,’ and that kind of thing,” Laboucan said.