Brittney Irving's last text message to her alleged killer was 'On Rout Babe, see you in ten', a Kelowna jury heard Tuesday.
The 24-year-old woman was transporting
50 pounds of marijuana worth $100,000 shortly before she was murdered in the woods east of the city, the BC Supreme Court jury heard.
Irving was shot four times, including twice in the back, prosecutor Mallory Treddenick said as she outlined the Crown's first-degree murder case against Joe Verma.
The Crown's case is expected to include cellphone and text message records, testimony from others involved in the drug trade, and statements said to have been made by Verma
to an undercover RCMP officer with whom
he shared a jail cell.
Verma has pleaded not guilty.
In her opening statement to the jury, Treddenick said Irving was stressed after being arrested in March 2010 for growing marijuana. Irving was worried about how she was going to pay for her upcoming legal bills, Treddenick said.
Evidence will show Irving contacted Verma on April 6 and arranged to sell him 50 pounds of pot for $100,000 she'd rounded up from other growers, Treddenick said. Verma had been paying the rent at the Kelowna motel where Irving was living, the jury heard.
At 1:53 p.m., Irving's last outgoing text message from her phone, which was recovered later along with her truck, was to Verma, the jury heard.
Irving was killed in a secluded area off McCulloch Road in East Kelowna shortly after the drug transfer took place, Treddenick said.
During his subsequent interview with police, Verma said he had expected to meet Irving to buy a small amount of marijuana, but she never showed up, the jury heard.
But a cousin of Verma's, Jason Labonte, is expected to provide some key testimony for the Crown. Labonte got a call from Verma on April 6, asking for help in dislodging the truck Verma was driving, the jury heard. It had become stuck in mud off McCulloch Road.
Labonte helped his cousin, but later took police to the location where the truck had become stuck, the jury heard. Searching the area three days later, police discovered Irving's body.
The trial is expected to last more than a month.