Dal student disappeared during home invasion, accused says in videotaped interrogation

The man charged in the death of a Halifax university student sobbed heavily while being questioned by police in August 2015 as he described how the victim disappeared during a home invasion.

The scene was included in a videotaped interrogation that was played for the jury Tuesday during the first-degree murder trial of William Sandeson in Nova Scotia Supreme Court in Halifax.

Sandeson is accused in the death of Taylor Samson, a fellow Dalhousie University student whose body has not been recovered.

During opening statements last month, the Crown told the jury the two men had negotiated a marijuana deal worth tens of thousands of dollars before Samson was killed.

Victim went missing during break-in

In the video played Tuesday in court, Sandeson told police that men burst into his apartment during a home invasion and struck both him and Samson. He said Samson either left with the men or they took him, along with the marijuana they were negotiating over and cash.

At the time of the interrogation, Samson's disappearance was still being treated as a missing person's case. Sandeson was facing charges of kidnapping, trafficking and misleading police. 

The officer responded by pointing out that Sandeson's story didn't match one he told another officer the day before, in which he claimed he never met with Samson that night.

In between sobs, Sandeson told the officer he doesn't know where Samson is or if he's still alive.

The officer questioning Sandeson repeatedly said he believes the accused is a good guy who made a mistake, but Sandeson mostly sat quietly as the officer spoke.

The video played for the jury had been edited. The judge told the jury not to question why. ​

Second interrogation

It's the second interrogation the jury has watched during the trial, now in its third week.

The first time Sandeson was interviewed, he was a witness, not a suspect. Police had tracked him down as the last number on Samson's cellphone.

That questioning was done in what police call a "soft" interview room with sunlight streaming in, an unlocked door and a comfortable sofa. 

In it, Sandeson said Samson never showed up at his apartment the night they were supposed to do a drug deal. Sandeson also shared texts with police he sent to Samson that night, complaining about him being a no-show. ​


Blair Rhodes live blogged from court.