SASKATOON — A man accused of first-degree murder in the death of a young woman he met in a bar has taken the stand in his own defence.
Earlier in the trial, court heard Douglas Hales on recordings made by undercover RCMP officers talking about strangling and beating Daleen Bosse to death in a decommissioned garbage dump near Martensville, Sask.
But on Tuesday, Hales testified the 25-year-old university student simply became unresponsive and died after they’d spent the night drinking a large quantity of alcohol.
He said he panicked when he couldn’t find her pulse and became worried he’d be accused of murder because he was the one who bought the liquor.
He told court he was too drunk to drive Bosse to a hospital, then described taking her out of the car and setting her body on fire.
He said he drove Bosse’s car around on back roads until he used up the gas, saying he wanted to throw police off so they wouldn’t know how far Bosse had actually travelled the night she disappeared.
Wayne Jeffery, a toxicologist called by the defence, has testified Bosse could have died of alcohol poisoning as she may have had a blood alcohol level as high as .58 per cent.
Actual blood tests were never performed because her body was not found until four years after her death.
Hales testified he met Bosse at the Jax nightclub when he was working there one night.
He said Bosse was asked to leave the bar at one point for being too drunk.
He put Bosse in her car and told her to wait until he finished his shift, then he drove them to an off-sale to buy alcohol.
He said they drove around and attempted to have sex, but admitted he was unable to perform.
In his confession to the undercover officers, Hales had said he choked her out of anger because she laughed at him when he couldn’t perform sexually.
Defence lawyer Bob Hrycan also questioned Hales about his background and his life now.
He described the six years he has already spent in prison ahead of his trial as “hell” and said he hasn’t seen his son since his arrest in 2008.
Hales said he was picked on throughout high school for his looks and began drinking when he was 16 as a means of coping before moving on to drugs.
He had to wipe back tears as he described being kicked out of his grandmother’s house for stealing money to feed his addictions.
Bosse was a fourth-year student at the University of Saskatchewan, where she was studying to become a teacher.