Ottawa cop left only a voicemail in pursuit of weapon that allegedly killed Cree woman

(Above is an exhibit of what Ottawa police think looks like the axe Adrian Daou allegedly used in the murder of Jennifer Stewart as no items were ever recovered during the investigation. Photo/court handout.)

Kenneth Jackson
APTN National News
OTTAWA – Besides leaving a voicemail, no other attempts were made by an Ottawa police detective to contact the father of the man accused of killing a Cree woman.

This despite the accused telling police his dad found – and threw away – the alleged murder weapon that was hidden in a bedroom closet for two years after the murder.

Adrian Daou, 24, allegedly confessed to killing Jennifer Stewart, 36, but has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder. The jury heard Wednesday the lead detective in Stewart’s murder never confirmed with Daou’s father that he found the axe allegedly used to kill the Indigenous mother in August 2010.

Det. John Monette testified he called and left a voicemail with the father and defence lawyer Annik Wills never questioned him further on the matter.

But during a videotaped confession on Feb. 26, 2013 Daou tells Monette his father found the axe hidden in a closet around October 2012 when the dad was moving to Toronto.

“Have you told your dad anything about this?” Monette asks Daou in the interview.

“No, no. I told … one time my dad… my dad found a (sic) axe, right,” replies Daou. “And he didn’t tell me until I asked him about it.”

“Was it ‘the axe?’” Monette asks.

Daou confirmed it was.

He said his dad cut the axe up and put in the garbage after finding it.

“So it wasn’t really me that done it. It was him,” says Daou.

The day prior, in the first confession at the local jail in Ottawa, Daou told Monette then that he was the one that chopped up the axe and threw it in the garbage.

During the cross-examination of Monette Wednesday, Daou’s defence team tried to highlight apparent discrepancies in the confessions, including Daou first saying it was a military knife used in the killing before changing it to an axe.

Wills also questioned Monette on details of the case including the coat Stewart was wearing. Daou told investigators she was wearing a black jacket he thought was a rain coat.

“You would agree with me it’s a light blue coat with..,” Wills asks Monette before he jumps in.

“I’d describe it as a medium blue coat … it was a rain coat, however,” said Monette, who earlier had to be told by the judge to let Wills ask a question before saying he didn’t agree with it.

APTN reported on portions of the two confessions Monday – that story can be read here.

Monette said of the 107 murders he has investigated over his 20 years as a homicide detective, only three people had confessed when there was no physical evidence tying them to the crime.

Daou is one of them.

Daou said he put the clothes he was wearing in a bag and threw them away.

The Crown has submitted an axe police think Daou used, as well as goggles and a painter’s mask.

The jury heard Tuesday Monette was convinced Daou was the killer because he knew the location of the where the body was found and where Stewart was wounded.

The defence submitted newspaper articles published just days after the crime that detail those exact things. Daou also said he read all the stories, especially those done by the Ottawa Sun.

The trial has heard from a pathologist Stewart fought for her life as she had deep cuts to both her wrists.

Daou told police in his alleged confessions Stewart never tried to protect herself.

The trial continues.

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