Andrew Watson takes the stand

Peterborough, ON, Canada / CHEX TV
Andrew Watson takes the stand

At times laughing, at times shouting, accused killer Andrew Watson adamantly denied having anything to do with Lise Fredette’s disappearance.

Fredette, a 74 year old Bensfort Rd. resident went missing Nov. 12, 2014. She was last seen leaving work at the Chemong Rd. Walmart.

Fredette and Watson dated for several years, breaking up in the spring of 2014.

Watson, a 79 year old ex pat from Scotland, was arrested 10 days after her disappearance. He has pleaded not guilty to a charge of first-degree murder.

His trial began about four weeks ago in Superior Court. He took the stand Monday.

But despite a morning of answering questions and cracking the odd joke, Watson lost his temper repeatedly under cross examination by Crown attorney Andrew Midwood.

Midwood began with a direct question about Fredette’s disappearance.

“Where is she?”

“Who?” Watson replied, before stating that he had nothing to do with her disappearance.

Midwood pressed his point, asking Watson about the details of their relationship.

“Like most of the stuff you’re saying, you’re completely wrong,” Watson said,

Watson could be heard sighing loudly throughout cross examination. At one point Judge Hugh O’Connell had to remind Watson to answer questions, and keep his frustration in check.

The Crown has entered several letters penned by Watson into evidence. Some are graphic in nature and focus on Fredette’s relationship with another man after her relationship with Watson came to an end.

Others express Watson’s desire to mend the rift between himself and Fredette.

Midwood seized on those letters, arguing that it proves Watson was alternately trying to shame Fredette because of her new relationship, and rekindle what they had.

Watson rebuffed the idea, saying neither he nor Fredette wanted to get back together.

“We tried twice, we failed twice, that was enough,” he responded.

Watson denied that his letters were intended to shame Fredette, despite apparent lewd comments about her new relationship. He told court he and Fredette met often to talk, despite the fact that they were no longer together.

But Midwood disagreed, pointing to other letters where Watson wrote that he hadn’t seen Fredette in some time, and was trying to make a, “peace offering.” Midwood said that showed Watson wasn’t meeting with Fredette on a friendly basis.

 

Midwood then turned to Watson’s police interview. But Watson confessed that he hadn’t been truthful with police.

“I knew he was lying to me,” Watson replied, referring to the police officer who interview him. “He was lying through his teeth to me.”

Then, Watson let out a loud laugh.

“A lot of people in this trial have lied. A lot,” he said. “Including the prosecutor.”

Watson testified that Fredette had been a big part of his life during their dating years, and that he still cared for her after their break up.

His testimony began  with his lawyer asking him about Fredette disappearance’s.

“Did you have anything to do with the disappearance of Lise Fredette?” Stefan Dimitrijevic asked.

“I did not have anything whatsoever to do with the disappearance of Lise Fredette,” Watson responded.

Watson also denied stalking Fredette, or watching her from a parking lot across the street from her home.

He also acknowledged writing the letters seized by police.

“I wrote a couple of those letters because I was very annoyed with the way Lise was being treated by (her new partner),” he testified.

“He’s keeping her up until 1 in the morning, when has to get up at 5. I think that’s disgusting. If he had any consideration at all for her he wouldn’t do that.”

At one point Watson’s patience seemed to run out under his lawyer’s questioning.

“I have to tell you that this court has had a lot of evidence that is utter baloney,” he testified.

Watson went on to answer questions about key pieces of evidence. Jurors have heard that both his and Fredette’s blood was found on a shovel and on and inside his car. Watson testified the two were always cutting themselves.

“I’m not the least bit surprised that her blood and my blood was found all over the place, because both of us are always bleeding all over the place,” he said.

During a search of Watson’s Payne St. home police found a shovel soaking in bleach. Watson testified that he was trying to clean the shovel before storing it over the winter months.

Jurors got a glimpse of Watson’s personal life.

He moved to Canada in 1967, working for the Ministry of Natural Resources, retiring 22 years ago. He moved to Peterborough in 1995. He never married and has no children. He has no criminal record. His hobbies include gardening and reading. He has no phone or Internet access at his Payne St. residence.

“Mainly letters,” Watson responded, when asked how he communicates with people. “I write a lot of letters.”

Cross examination continues Tuesday.

 

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