Young boy who “heard screams from my mother” testifies in murder trial

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During the first degree murder trial of Jitesh Bhogal, the son of victim Autumn Taggart said on Tuesday that a man briefly entered his room and shortly after he heard “screams coming from my mother that night- the”.

Taggart’s body was found on the morning of June 10, 2018 by his son, who was then nine years old. He’s 13 now. CBC News chooses not to identify the child to protect their privacy.

The boy testified in another room of the courthouse, separate from the main room where the judge, jury, lawyers and the accused sit. He was accompanied by a guide during his testimony.

“Someone came into my room and said something I don’t even remember. When he left my room it was quiet for a while, then I heard screams coming from my mom that night- there. then ended, “the boy said in court on Tuesday. “And then, as I knew, I fell asleep again and woke up.”

In the morning, when the boy woke up, he testified that he went to his mother’s room.

“Everything was overturned, broken, destroyed. My mother was sleeping, well that’s what I thought at first, but there was blood on her nose, coming to the conclusion that she was dead, she was killed “, did he declare.

“I was in shock. I couldn’t believe it. I cried, but I tried to cope. I just carried on with my day without even caring,” the boy said.

On June 10, 2018, Autumn Taggart’s body was found in his third-floor apartment in the west of the city. (Jolayne Lausch)

He said he played games and watched videos on YouTube for part of the day on June 10, 2018. It was only later that day that he texted his father from his phone. mother.

“I couldn’t take it anymore. I had to tell someone about it,” he said.

His father rushed over and went down to the parking lot to meet him.

The boy remembers the last time he saw his mother alive. It was the day before he died, he said, and they went shopping with his father who dropped them off at the apartment. The boy and his mother lived alone in a third-floor unit on University Avenue West, near McKay Avenue.

He remembers playing video games with his mother after coming home from the grocery store, then he went to bed.

The boy testified that he was awakened by a man “standing right next to my bed”.

“He was a bit close,” he said, also saying no contact was ever made.

Autumn Taggart’s body was discovered in his bed on June 10, 2018. (Jolayne Lausch)

The man stayed in the boy’s room for “probably three seconds.”

The boy said he thought the man was white, of medium height and had disheveled hair.

“He looked like he got out of bed,” the boy testified. “I think he was skinny but not too skinny. I think he was skinny.”

The crown attorney’s office plans to call about 30 witnesses during the eight-week trial. This is the first jury trial in Windsor in about 20 months, as courts have closed due to the pandemic.

An autopsy determined that Fall Taggart’s cause of death was strangulation and neck compressions. (Jolayne Lausch)

Earlier in the trial, the Crown Prosecutor explained to the 14 jurors and Judge Renee Pomerance how the accused allegedly entered Canada using the Windsor-Detroit Tunnel at around 2:15 a.m. on June 10, 2018.

After purchasing and consuming cocaine, the Crown alleges that Bhogal broke into Taggart’s apartment. Once inside, he reportedly told Taggart’s son, who was nine at the time, to return to his room and go to bed.

During the boy’s testimony on Tuesday, he said he did not remember what the man said or if he said anything.

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