Man accused of killing Cree woman in Ottawa has multiple versions of how murder happened

Kenneth Jackson
APTN National News
OTTAWA – Adrian Daou wanted out of segregation so badly he was willing to confess to a murder to make it happen – the murder of Jennifer Stewart, a Cree mother who was brutally killed in Ottawa August 2010.

“I was thinking of telling you guys something I did to go to the pen tonight. I’m just trying to get out of (segregation) … I’m just looking to get more room,” Daou, 24, told two Ottawa police detectives in a jailhouse interview on Feb. 25, 2013, the first of two confessions the jury heard Monday in the first-degree murder trial.

It doesn’t work that way, the cops tell him.

“Jennifer … I did it,” said Daou. “ I did the crime.”

“You killed Jennifer?” one of the officers asked.

“Yep,” he said – with a knife, specifically a military knife and he did because “he wanted to get his anger out.”

The jury trial entered its third day Monday with the jury already hearing from a jail guard and a pathologist. Daou, despite confessing twice, has pleaded not guilty. Stewart, 36, was struggling through addictions when her body was found Aug, 20, 2010 by a person walking their dog.

The jury heard Monday Daou say he lured Stewart to a location on Alice Street in the Ottawa community of Vanier where he “cut, cut, cut” her in the pitch black of a parking lot next to a small apartment building just before midnight.

But when pressed he told police the “murder weapon” was an axe and he hit her on the head “four to seven” times.

“That’s the truth. I swear on it. I took an axe and that’s when …,” he said stopping himself.

He had been angry for a while knowing he was going to jail for six months for trafficking drugs.

Soon his anger turned into the idea of murder he said.

“My goal for that day was to kill someone,” said Daou who spotted Stewart walking near Montreal Road and offered to sell her some “dope” for $20.

The police asked why Stewart.

“Why her? I was looking around and she was the one who came up as the best possible choice,” he said.

Police asked if Stewart offered anything else to him and Daou quickly said she didn’t.

They ask again later, this time point blank if it was sex she was offering in return for drugs.

“Sorry, it’s a legitimate question,” one of the officers said.

Again, Daou said it wasn’t. He said she had money on her.

So they walked through the community to the spot Daou said he wanted to kill her, close to the home he was sharing with his dad and brother at the time.

But police wanted to know more. They rushed to a judge to get an order to remove Daou from the jail and take him to the police headquarters for a formal interview the next day.

This time the jury didn’t just hear Daou admit to killing Stewart, they got to see him as this interview was videotaped.

“The murder … I killed Jennifer Stewart. I’m the one who did it. Nobody else,” he said off the top.

Then jury heard Daou explain he was a budding rapper and killing someone would help his career.

But really it was while he was at work that day that he knew he was going to kill someone.

By the time he got home, smoked some weed and drank a bottle of liquor he was ready.

Male or female, it didn’t matter: “It was about the killing.”

Dressed in cargo shorts, a hoodie and Nike “gangster” shoes he set out on his bike around 8 p.m.

He drove around Vanier, stopping near a liquor store to smoke another joint.

Then he saw Stewart, just past 10 p.m. walking by herself. This time he remembered it was on Marier Street near Montreal Road. She was on the right-hand sidewalk.

She wore a black coat and black jeans or “something.” No purse.

He rolled up beside her and offered her some “dope.”

This time it was for sex – the dope for a sex act.

He said she agreed and followed.

“She was, I guess, her usual way. She didn’t look like a happy person,” said Daou who had mentioned he sold drugs to her a couple times in the past so they sort of knew each other.

They walked to the spot and he told her to wait by the corner of the building so he could rush home and get the drugs. This time in the interview he recalled the exact address: 120 Alice Street.

But he was going home to get his axe and put on goggles.

Police interrupted him.

Det. John Monette, who was doing the interview, had concerns.

“Right now, I’m not convinced you’re telling me the truth,” said Monette who asks Daou to show where he hit Stewart with an axe.

Daou tries to explain but then asks for paper and pen.

As he’s sketching he stops and asks what the weather is like.

It was four degrees outside, Monette said.

“Sometimes I try to remember, but this time I’m going to remember good,” said Daou. “I feel better (here) than in that little cell.”

He shows he hit Stewart “five or six times” in the head and Monette asks if she ever put her hands up to defend herself.

Daou said no, never.

The jury had already heard Stewart fought like hell to save herself, so much so both of her hands were nearly severed.

He showed Monette how hard he hit Stewart with an axe, vicious blows that struck his foot but never hurt him.

After he killed her, Daou said he jumped through several backyards, went home to shower and put all the clothes in a bag. He said there was no blood on any of the clothes. He wrapped the axe in a red coat and put it in his room.

He hopped back on his bike to go smoke another joint.

During this trip he stopped to get a Red Bull and on his way back home went by the murder scene and poured a little out “to honour” Stewart.

Then he stayed up writing lyrics before going back to work the next day.

The trial continues Tuesday.

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