Canada
'Controlling' dumped man kills ex-girlfriend with hammer

Credits: ADAM JACKSON/HERALD-TRIBUNE STAFF/QMI AGENCY

SAM PAZZANO | QMI AGENCY

TORONTO – Patrick Barrett has admitted to killing his girlfriend with a hammer after she kicked him out of their home, but the court must decide whether he meant to.

Lucita Charles could no longer bear life with her controlling live-in boyfriend Barrett, Crown attorney Scott Arnold said.

She also broke the bad news to the devout Christian that she wasn't having his baby as she already had a deeply-disabled child.

Charles wanted him to leave their apartment, but he still wanted to marry her.

After hours of argument, Barrett snarled, "F--- this s---t," grabbed a hammer and fatally bludgeoned Charles. He wrapped her lifeless body and then plunged a knife into her chest, pinning a Bible page to her torso, said Arnold.

Barrett then stole her bank card and withdrew $200 from her account at an ABM before taking another woman on a two-day road trip, court heard. He was eventually captured by police in Oshawa, Ont.

The vicious killing left Lucita's severely-disabled son, Mataeo, now 10, without a parent in May 2010.

Crown attorney Scott Arnold outlined the prosecution's second-degree murder case against Barrett, who has admitted he killed her but says he didn't intend to do so.

"This is not a whodunit. Patrick Barrett killed Lucita Charles, but he wants to plead guilty to the lesser charge of manslaughter. But we are asserting this is murder (intentional homicide), not manslaughter," said Arnold.

The 41-year-old tool-and-die maker pleaded guilty to manslaughter, but the prosecutors Arnold and co-counsel Jill Cameron are instead are trying to prove that he meant to kill his former fiancee.

"Lucita was unhappy in their relationship and wanted him to move out," Arnold said in his dramatic opening.

She had stepped outside of her relationship and was involved with another man, but Arnold warned jurors that "she is not on trial here. He is."

She suspected she was pregnant, but she actually wasn't despite missing two menstrual periods, said Arnold.

Charles adored her eight-year-old son Mataeo, who has cerebral palsy and requires constant care as he can't walk, talk, see or swallow.

"She said she simply wasn't going to have another baby," said Arnold of the May 31, 2010, "prolonged exchange" between Charles and Barrett.

After hours of heated arguments, Charles begged Barrett to leave her alone.

Instead, he snatched a hammer and swung it repeatedly at Charles's head, the lawyer said.

He wrapped her body in a multi-coloured duvet, ripped out a page of Bible and pinned it on her chest with a knife.

"He left her that way for others to find," said Arnold, pointing to the killer in the prisoner's box after displaying a large photo of the horrific murder scene.

Charles' sister Sheran said Lucita met Barrett at a local west-end Pentecostal church a few years before her death.

Lucita was bothered by his controlling ways, especially his habit of incessantly texting her to come home, court heard.

The trial resumes Thursday.

sam.pazzano@sunmedia.ca

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