Acorn trial: Witness names will not be made public

Civilians testifying in the trial of Jessie Blue West, will no longer be publicly identified.

Citizens testifying in the trial of Jessie Blue West, who is charged with the first degree murder of 14-year-old Chelsey Acorn of Abbotsford, will no longer be publicly identified.

During Friday morning’s court proceedings, Crown prosecutor Carolyn Kramer asked for an order of non-publication of names, citing safety issues.

Kramer told Judge William Grist that several witnesses had expressed concerns. She said the “first thing out of their mouths was personal security,” and most of them did not want “colleagues, co-workers or friends talking to them” about the trial.

Grist contemplated the request for several minutes before agreeing. He said he could not see anything in the request that would impact the defendant’s right to a fair trial. As for the personal safety issue, he said if the court can “alleviate that sort of problem for witnesses, we should accommodate them.”

After the judge’s ruling, a friend of Acorn returned to the stand to face defence counsel Brian Coleman, who attempted to show gaps in her recollections of a late-night meeting between her, West and Acorn.

According to the witness, Acorn said she wanted to see “Blue” and the pair hitchhiked to Surrey. They were eventually picked up by “Blue” at gas station near Guildford mall, and taken to his basement suite.

She said she overheard “Blue” talking with someone on the phone, saying “I’ve got a pretty one for you,” which she assumed meant her.

She said she believed Blue was talking to Dustin Moir (West’s son, who has already been convicted of murder in the Acorn case).

Coleman continued to question her story, pointing out other possible inconsistencies including what drugs may have been offered to her by West, where the girls were dropped off and other details.

The trial continues this week and is expected to last for another five weeks.

In his opening submissions on the first day of West’s trial on Sept. 11, Crown counsel John Hempstead said Acorn was likely murdered between Oct. 1 and Dec. 31, 2005.

Her remains were found by hikers on April 8, 2006 in the area of the Carolin Mines exit off the Coquihalla Highway just outside of Hope.

An autopsy concluded that Acorn had died from blunt-force trauma to her head and face.

West, 60, and his son, Dustin Moir, 27, were charged with Acorn’s murder in March 2007 and went on trial in November 2009. Two months later, West’s trial was separated from his son’s.

Moir was convicted in February 2010 of first-degree murder and received a life sentence with no parole eligibility for 25 years.

Much of the evidence at Moir’s trial focused on a “Mr. Big” undercover operation by police who posed as members of a criminal organization promising a lucrative future to Moir.

During the investigation, Moir confessed key details to a “crime boss,” saying that he helped murder Acorn with a promise of $15,000 from his dad.

Moir, whose statements were recorded, told the “crime boss” that on the day of the murder, his dad had picked him up in Surrey, with Acorn in the car. The three travelled to Merritt for coffee, and they set up a campsite in the bush, where Acorn was killed.

It was revealed during Moir’s trial that Acorn might have been murdered because she had witnessed a drug deal.

At the start of West’s trial, Crown counsel alleged that West killed Acorn because there was an issue between her and his son, and West wanted to “bury the problem.”

Hempstead told the court the murder was planned two weeks in advance, and West purchased a shovel for the purpose of digging the grave.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Two more COVID-19 cases reported by Langley Lodge

One resident, one staffer have tested positive for the coronavirus

Car failing to yield at new stop sign causes three-car crash and flaming aftermath

A Monday afternoon multiple-car collision saw no serious injuries reported to police

Cat rescued from 100-foot tree near Fort Langley

Curtis had scrambled to the top and had been stuck there for days

Cost of COVID-19 ‘biggest unknown’ for Langley School District budget

District’s 2020/2021 annual budget bylaw sent to a third reading during board meeting

Public gets chance to name Langley bear cub

The fundraising contest at Critter Care runs to June 22

VIDEO: A Vancouver Island black bear takes weekend nap in eagle tree

Videos captured by Terry Eissfeldt shows the bear arriving Saturday night and sleeping in on Sunday

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

Thanks for helping the Aldergrove Star to continue its mission to provide trusted local news

George Floyd asphyxiated by sustained pressure: family autopsy

Death sparked a wave of protests across the U.S. and abroad

Suspect sought in alleged assault, hate crime on Metro Vancouver bus: transit police

The woman then allegedly punched the teenager in the head multiple times

COVID-19: B.C. commercial landlords can’t evict if they decline rent assistance

Emergency order ‘incentive’ for federal program, Carole James says

Investigators probe death of CN employee at Surrey rail yard

Transportation Safety Board is investigating an ‘occurrence that took place during switching operations’

Abbotsford International Airshow opening 50-year-old time capsule

Bronze time capsule was put together to commemorate AIA as Canada’s National Airshow

Trans Mountain starts B.C. leg of pipeline twinning project

Mostly finished in Alberta, Burnaby terminal expanding

Most Read