Man accused of murder told RCMP, 'I killed her with kindness and love'

·4 min read
Calvin Andrew Lewis has been charged with first-degree murder in the death of Tina Tingley-McAleer in Hillsborough in May 2020. (Maeve McFadden/CBC - image credit)
Calvin Andrew Lewis has been charged with first-degree murder in the death of Tina Tingley-McAleer in Hillsborough in May 2020. (Maeve McFadden/CBC - image credit)

A man accused of killing his partner two years ago in Hillsborough told police he thought she was going to leave him and kill him with a needle, offering the first indication of a motive in the case.

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

A recording of his interview with an RCMP officer the day of the alleged crime was played on Thursday, the second day of his trial by judge-alone.

"I killed her with kindness and love," Lewis told Cpl. Patrick Arseneau near the end of the interview after the officer asked if he killed Tingley-McAleer.

In the interview, Lewis is emotional, hunched over and crying as he repeatedly says he loved Tingley-McAleer. At one point, Lewis says he should kill himself, then stands up and screams, pulls open the interview room door and walks out for a few seconds.

At several points, Arseneau asks what pushed him to do what he did.

"She told me she was going to kill me," Lewis said, telling the officer Tingley-McAleer had a needle with "dope" she was going to use to kill him.

He also told the officer she was planning to leave him.

"I just lost it, that's all," he said.

While listening Thursday to his interview, Lewis wiped away tears in the prisoner's box, one of the only times during the trial he's shown a visible reaction.

The trial began Wednesday with six witnesses. Four more, including Arseneau, testified Thursday before the interview was played.

Crown prosecutors have asked Tingley-McAleer's family and friends who testified whether they saw needles in the house. None said they did.

Lewis has admitted he killed the 43-year-old but doesn't admit he intended to kill her. Intent is a key component of a first-degree murder charge, which is a homicide that's planned and deliberate.

Lewis called 911 shortly after the alleged crime, telling the operator he had stabbed Tingley-McAleer and meant to kill her.

Thursday's testimony included RCMP officers involved in stopping and arresting Lewis after he left the scene in Hillsborough.

RCMP Const. Christopher Plomp came across the van Lewis was driving, stopping him at about 10:30 a.m. on Petersfield Road in Hillsborough.

Plomp said Lewis got out of the van, put his hands in the air and said, "'The knife is in the van."

He said he carried out a brief search of the van and saw a knife with a decorative handle but left it for a more detailed search of the van.

RCMP Const. Jean-Luc Robichaud was second to testify, saying he was the one who arrested Lewis and drove him to Moncton.

"He was surprisingly co-operative, he wasn't agitated or anything," Robichaud said. "He was really calm. At one point he mentioned the knife was in the van."

En route, he was told by radio that Tingley-McAleer had died. While driving in Moncton near the courthouse, Lewis told the officer: "You know what, the sad part of all this is that I truly love[d] her. Can I get my wallet?"

Tingley-McAleer's son Daniel Tingley was the third witness to testify Thursday. He had lived with Lewis, though it wasn't clear from the testimony when that was.

He testified he set up a GoPro camera in the home around Christmas 2019 that recorded Lewis walking around muttering late at night, sometimes carrying a knife.

Tingley testified that he set up the camera in a shoe because it was happening regularly. No footage was entered as evidence.

He also testified that about two weeks before her death, he went to his mother's Hillsborough home after she called her sister Laura Tingley.

He said his mother had a cut hand that was wrapped in a towel.

Repeated threats

On Wednesday, several family members and friends of Tingley-McAleer said Lewis had repeatedly threatened to kill her.

Shane Brady, Lewis's son who lived with the two prior to her death, said his father was "very abusive toward her."

He described an incident where Lewis picked up a knife and threatened Tingley-McAleer, ultimately cutting her about two weeks before her death.

It wasn't clear if the incident is the same one Daniel Tingley described.

Submitted/Jeanne Duff
Submitted/Jeanne Duff

Lewis had been charged with assaulting Tingley-McAleer and was sentenced just a month before her death.

Tammy Tingley-Stoddard said Tingley-McAleer was her best friend. She said she lived with her friend while Lewis was in custody prior to his plea. During that time, she testified she heard Lewis's calls to Tingley-McAleer.

"'Tina, you know why you're going to die? You know why I'm going to kill you when I get out? You put me in here, you know why you gotta die, right?' I heard him say stuff like that," Tingley-Stoddard said on Wednesday.

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

Another interview with police from May 3, 2020, is expected to be played in court Friday morning.

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