Pubdate: Fri, 12 Mar 2010
Source: Calgary Herald (CN AB)
Copyright: 2010 Canwest Publishing Inc.
Author: Daryl Slade, Calgary Herald


It was only in the middle of raping Arcelie Laoagan, an act over which
he says he felt powerless, that it suddenly occurred to Christopher
Watcheston what he was doing.

"I stopped because it was so wrong," Watcheston told Crown prosecutor
Christine Rideout under cross-examination Thursday.

"I got back control. That's why I stopped."

Despite Watcheston's sudden realization of his obvious criminal
transgression, minutes later, he nevertheless killed Laoagan by
kicking her in the head about four times with the rubber sole of his
steel-toed ironworker boots.

He then fled and attempted to destroy evidence.

That, he said, he did only because he believed she was calling 911 and
he didn't want to get in trouble. But, he added, there was no
intention to kill.

He blamed it on the effect of the hallucinogenic drug salvia, which
caused him to have essentially an out-of-body experience that left him
powerless to stop.

"I thought police could be coming. I wasn't going to stick around to
find out," Watcheston said, alluding to the victim being on the
cellphone during and after the attack.

"I thought people got hit in the head, got a concussion and don't

Watcheston, on trial for first-degree murder in connection with the
sexual assault and slaying of the 41-year-old mother of five, has
admitted committing the crime, but is trying to reduce his charge to
second-degree murder.

The slaying occurred on Jan. 17, 2008, on a pathway between the
Franklin C-Train station and adjacent Grace Baptist Church.

When Rideout suggested Watcheston planned the attack despite being
drunk -- perhaps as soon as when he left after drinking beer with
co-workers after work -- he flatly denied it.

"I never decided when I left (coworker) Charlotte Cummer's house I was
gonna go rape and beat up some chick on my way home from work,"
Watcheston retorted.

"I wasn't planning on none of this. It was not a plan. Like, I would
never formulate a plan and decide to go out and do this."

Watcheston had boarded the train at the 8th Street station downtown,
where Laoagan also boarded to go home after work. They both got off at
the Franklin station.

On Wednesday, Watcheston testified he mistook Laoagan for his dead
mother, who had been murdered in Regina a decade ago.

It was then that he alleges Laoagan suddenly took his mistaken
identity as a threat.

He claims she then repeatedly pleaded with him not to rape her.
Watcheston said he tried to explain to her that he merely thought she
looked like his mother and not to worry.

Watcheston said it was a reaction to the hallucinogenic drug salvia
that caused him to "trip out" shortly before he attacked her.

He said he had twice ingested the drug that night, along with more
than a dozen beer and a half-mickey of Southern Comfort liquor.

He also said he did not stalk her from when they both boarded the
train downtown. He said he didn't even notice her until the Franklin
station, and only then because of her resemblance to his mother.
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