Crown closes case after showing second police interview with Calvin Lewis

·4 min read
Calvin Lewis is being tried at the Moncton courthouse on a charge of first-degree murder in the May 2022 death of his partner, Tina Tingley-McAleer. (Shane Magee/CBC - image credit)
Calvin Lewis is being tried at the Moncton courthouse on a charge of first-degree murder in the May 2022 death of his partner, Tina Tingley-McAleer. (Shane Magee/CBC - image credit)

The Crown finished presenting its evidence in Calvin Lewis's murder trial on Friday after showing a second RCMP interview recorded the day after the alleged crime.

"The Crown closes its case, Mr. Justice," Malika Levesque told Court of Queen's Bench Justice Robert Dysart shortly before noon.

The trial by judge alone was adjourned until Wednesday when the defence is expected to present evidence.

The third day in the trial saw no new witness testimony, only the roughly 90-minute video of the interview with Lewis on May 3, 2020.

Lewis is charged with first-degree murder in the May 2, 2020, stabbing death of Tina Tingley-McAleer in Hillsborough, south of Moncton.

Maeve McFadden/CBC
Maeve McFadden/CBC

Lewis has admitted he killed her, but does not admit he intended to kill her. First-degree murder is a homicide that's planned and deliberate.

In his second interview with police, Lewis is more defiant than one recorded the day before and backs away from the idea he was involved in his partner's death.

In the first interview, he is often crying, telling Cpl. Patrick Arseneau he loved Tingley-McAleer, but "lost it."

Arseneau in the second interview refers back to that comment, asking why he lost it. Lewis says there was an argument over $20 and a cheque.

In the first interview, Lewis told Arseneau he thought Tingley-McAleer was going to leave him and kill him with a needle. He went on to say he never could believe what Tingley-McAleer was saying.

"Is it the truth or is it a lie?" he told the officer. He said he would try to get away from her, but she'd follow him and "send people to spy on me."

As that first interview continued, his demeanour changed, and he said he didn't want to continue talking.

That demeanour continued in the second interview.

Arseneau pressed on, asking Lewis to fill in gaps about what happened so Tingley-McAleer's family will know the truth about what unfolded. But Lewis backs away from acknowledging a role in her death, even questioning whether it was he who called 911 after the stabbing.

Submitted/Jeanne Duff
Submitted/Jeanne Duff

The officer asks if he hurt her, and if she suffered.

"She didn't hurt or suffer by me. I loved her."

A second officer, Sgt. Sébastien Decaens, took over the interview and played a recording of the 911 in which Lewis says he just killed someone, says he meant to do so, and names Tingley-McAleer.

"That's you talking to our dispatcher. Do you want to talk about what we just listened to?" Decaens asked Lewis.

"No."

The officer goes on to point out there's a knife with what was then believed to be blood on it found in the van Lewis was driving when he was located and arrested. Lewis told the officers the knife was in the van.

But in the interview, he says he was referring to a different knife that he sometimes used to get the vehicle started.

The officer points out Lewis had blood on his hands and clothes when he was arrested.

"Talk to my lawyer," Lewis said, reaching over to open the interview room door.

The officer left the room, with a a photo of the knife still on the table near Lewis, who mutters and coughs. He returns several moments later.

"With all of that, with Tina gone, with all of the love that you had for her, this is the best opportunity I can give you to give you the chance to relieve your conscience," the officer says.

Lewis says there was an argument, blaming Tingley-McAleer for "[expletive] with my head." He said he left the home to go for a drive.

The officer asks about how Tingley-McAleer was doing when he left.

"Fine as always," he says. "Talking about shit, as always."

Shortly after, the interview ends, and Lewis is placed back in a police holding cell.

Shane Magee/CBC
Shane Magee/CBC

An agreed statement of facts entered as the first exhibit in the case says the knife that appears to be bloody found in the van Lewis was driving had DNA matching Tingley-McAleer.

The statement doesn't address whether her DNA was found on Lewis.

An autopsy found Tingley-McAleer had 32 stab and cut wounds, including to her heart and lungs, the statement of facts says.

The trial has heard that there were regular arguments, and that Lewis had a history of threatening to kill Tingley-McAleer with a knife.

Lewis's lawyer Nathan Gorham told the judge Friday that the defence is still deciding whether to call Lewis to testify when the trial resumes next week.

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