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Vancouver man admits he let his girlfriend's body decompose as long as possible

Keith Fraser

Rose Paul. (Submitted photo/VPD)

Rose Paul. (Submitted photo/VPD)

A Vancouver man accused of the murder of his girlfriend admits that he let the victim's body decompose in his apartment as long as possible after the slaying.

Daniel Alphonse Paul, 45, has pleaded not guilty to the January 2015 second-degree murder of Crystal Rose Paul, 36.

The Crown theory is that he beat his girlfriend to death and then lived with the corpse for nearly a month before fleeing his apartment.

Paul denies that he killed her, but admits that he remained in the apartment on East 22nd Avenue and put garbage bags and clothes over the body and used air-freshener in the suite.

Under cross-examination by Crown counsel Daniel Mulligan, Paul conceded that by letting the victim's body decompose, he was making it more difficult for the authorities, including a pathologist, to investigate what had happened.

"Essentially what you did was you buried her in your bedroom, under the garbage bags, in order to make it difficult for anyone to smell she was there, right?" said Mulligan.

"Yes," Paul told a B.C. Supreme Court jury Friday, his second day of testimony.

"The purpose of that was to buy yourself more time before the authorities investigated what happened to Rose, right?" said Mulligan.

"Yes," replied Paul.

Asked by Mulligan whether his desire to protect his own skin outweighed any interest he had in finding out what happened to Rose, he said he knew he was going to be a prime suspect for police and believed he would never get a fair trial.

"Your desire to protect your own skin outweighed any feelings you had for Rose or her family," said Mulligan.

"Yes," said Paul.

Mulligan took the accused through a number of other things that he said were proof that Paul had tried to foil investigators.

Paul admitted that he had washed his bloody clothing in the aftermath of the slaying, but denied that he had discarded items of clothing.

The accused testified that he was "terrified" when he woke up and found Paul's body lying on the floor in his apartment.

Mulligan pointed out, however, that despite any terror he might have felt, in the days following the slaying, he used the victim's bank card to withdraw money from her account.

Paul admitted that he was stealing from the account and that he repeatedly took money from the account throughout February 2015.

He conceded that he was aware that his girlfriend, a mother of five, regularly got money from the government and he frequently checked the account to see when the government money was deposited.

"And as soon as it was deposited, you were going to grab it, right?" said Mulligan.

"Yes," replied Paul.

The accused admitted that on the day of the slaying he began reaching out to other women on Facebook, seeking pen pals. He admitted that he communicated with one woman who was in the United States and that he thought about fleeing across the border to the U.S.

In communications with another woman, he was asked whether he had been a "bad boy" and he replied in the affirmative.

Paul's trial is expected to continue next week with final submissions from the lawyers and a charge by the trial judge, B.C. Supreme Court Justice Christopher Grauer, followed by the jury beginning their deliberations.

kfraser@postmedia.com

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