Man who confessed to murdering Sask. woman loses appeal

A man sentenced to life in prison for the 2011 murder of his ex-girlfriend has lost his appeal.

Carol King was reported missing from her home in Herschel, Sask. Her body was later found badly decomposed in an abandoned farmyard. Her King’s body had been partially consumed by wild animals.

David Caissie was charged with the first-degree murder in 2016 after a complex undercover operation known as a “Mr. Big” sting, in which police posed as members of a fictitious criminal organization in the hopes of gaining his trust and eliciting a confession.

Caissie was hoping to overturn his 2019 conviction in King’s death by calling into question some of the evidence obtained through the sting.

While the sting revealed Caissie knew information that was not publicly known — including the location where King’s body was discovered — his appeal argued his admissions to the officers were false as evidenced by instances where his story did not match up with details uncovered by police.

Chief among them was a piece of “holdback” evidence police unsuccessfully attempted to confirm: that a jug of windshield washer fluid was wedged in King’s car pressing down the gas pedal.

King’s PT Cruiser was found empty in a lagoon following her disappearance.

Caissie also said his confessions should be thrown out because he had received $11,900 from the fake criminal organization for work as a laborer.

On Thursday, the three Court of Appeal justices presiding over the case issued a ruling refuting Caissie’s claims.

“Mr. Caissie was not lifted out of poverty through his role in the organization. He was open to opportunities where he could make ‘easy money’ but had always been employed and had been able to look after his family since he had moved to western Canada years ago,” Justice Ralph Ottenbreit wrote in the decision.

The Court of Appeal agreed with trial judge Richard Danyliuk’s finding that critical details Caissie shared with undercover officers were easily corroborated with evidence uncovered during the investigation.

“Seldom, if ever, does evidence dovetail perfectly,” Danyliuk wrote in his 2019 ruling, acknowledging the discrepancies.

“This does not preclude other powerful confirmatory evidence from reinforcing the probative value of Mr. Caissie’s confessions,” Danyliuk said.

Some of those details included a speeding ticket Caissie received when returning home to Olds, Alta. following the killing and that he turned off his phone to hide his movements from him for several hours the day King was killed — something a SaskTel witness confirmed during his trial.

A court-ordered tracking device attached to Caissie’s truck by police early in the investigation showed he drove past the site where King’s body was eventually found on four occasions and showed him driving between that site and the slough where her car had been found.

Caissie also had told the undercover officers that he had hired two “kids” from Kindersley to “scare” King by going to her home days before the killing.

Cassie told the officers he had paid $100 for the job, another detail that was confirmed during the trial when one of the people he hired took the stand.

His appeal also tried to call into question his account of where King’s body was left in the farmyard.

“The fact the body was found somewhere in the abandoned farmyard was known to the public. However, the precise location at the site was not,” Ottenbreit wrote.

“(Caissie’s) description of where he put the body was not vague but rather relatively specific given the layout of the farmyard, the passage of time and the change in the lands.”

Leave a Comment