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Custody of two children is the motive for a double murder committed three years apart in Mississauga, according to the Crown.

Melissa Merritt's alibi for murder charges doesn't add up.

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Melissa Merritt at her arrest on January 29, 2014 in Nova Scotia with Chris Fattore (not visible in the photo ).

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In Brampton, the Crown at the trial of Melissa Merritt showed the jury that the accused's alibi did not match that of her alleged accomplice, who was already convicted of the double murder for which she is now accused . Merritt is accused of ordering the murders of her ex-mother-in-law, Bridget Harrison, in 2010, and her ex-husband, Caleb Harrison, in 2013, because she allegedly wanted to ;time regaining full custody of his two children.

Melissa Merritt's common-law husband at the time, Chris Fattore, was convicted of the premeditated murders of Bridget and Caleb Harrison following his trial in 2019.

At the time, the Crown proved that he had strangled the mother and her son, three years apart, in the same house, at 3635 Pitch Pine Crescent in Mississauga.

Bridget Harrison's death was not immediately investigated as a homicide. That of his son, three years later – also due to asphyxiation – finally alerted the Peel regional police.

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Christopher Fattore, during his arrest in Nova Scotia in 2014 for the premeditated murders of Bridget and Caleb Harrison.

In this trial, the Crown claims that Melissa Merritt is just as responsible as her common-law husband who is now behind bars.

She accuses him of having asked Fattore to murder Bridget and Caleb Harrison to gain permanent custody of his children after years of legal proceedings regarding them.

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Melissa Merritt was a knowing accomplice and not an accomplice after the facts, prosecutor Brian McGuire told the jury at the opening of the trial Monday.

Chris Fattore did not act alone and instead committed these murders with the aid and encouragement of defendant Melissa Merritt, he continued in his indictment.

< p class="StyledBodyHtmlParagraph-sc-48221190-4 hnvfyV">The trial has so far shown that Merritt and Harrison married in 2002, before separating three years later because they were married. he beat her. The couple had two children, a boy and then a girl.

Caleb Harrison was also accused and then convicted in 2005 of assaulting Melissa Merritt, who subsequently met Chris Fattore.

The Crown on Thursday only addressed the suspicious death of Bridget Harrison in April 2010. It presented videos of the two interviews Merritt and Fattore gave separately after the 63-year-old grandmother's murder.

Merritt and Fattore, who were not suspected of anything at the time, admitted that they had spent the day together on the day of the murder, since she did not have custody of her children that day. -there.

The Crown attempts to demonstrate that the accused fabricated their alibi in order to protect Fattore who physically committed the two murders .

Their alibi is not quite the same. Merritt notably forgot details about a stop at a store to return a purchase.

Although she appears cheerful and laughing, her statements are confused and the events she comments on are not linear in time.

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The Brampton courthouse, where Melissa Merritt's trial is taking place in the Superior Court of 'Ontario.

The times of the events that the two individuals describe that day – at the hairdresser or at the grocery store – are not quite the same either. Unlike Merritt, Fattore is in a somber mood and appears worried.

Merritt and Fattore maintain that they were at home when x27;they learned from the police around 9:30 p.m. that Bridget Harrison had been found dead in her home.

I was even more dismayed when the police told me that it was my 7-year-old son who found her unconscious on the floor of the entrance hall. , he is heard telling police.

Both say in their respective videos that they were in shock, but that Caleb had a violent past.

Merritt further acknowledges that her relationship with her former family was strained, because she had reported her ex-husband for domestic violence.

The Crown had shown the jury on Wednesday a dozen letters that Melissa Merritt had sent to the Harrisons starting in April 2008.

Correspondence shows that the mother was unhappy with her children's custody arrangements with her former in-laws and was concerned for their safety.

< p class="StyledBodyHtmlParagraph-sc-48221190-4 hnvfyV">A month after their separation, Caleb Harrison killed an individual while driving drunk. He was sentenced to 18 months in prison in 2009. He was living with his mother at the time.

Caleb Harrison loved his children, even as he battled his own demons, Prosecutor McGuire said.

The paternal grandparents had obtained shared custody of their grandchildren, while their father served his sentence.

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Christopher Fattore was sentenced in 2019 to life in prison without the right to parole before 25 years for the premeditated murders of Bridget and Caleb Harrison.

Merritt later agreed with Caleb Harrison to share custody every other week in early summer 2013.

Caleb Harrison, however, was found strangled to death in his bed at his late parents' home later that same summer. He died the day the shared custody agreement ended. For the Crown, this is by no means a coincidence.

According to prosecutors, Merritt left Ontario with her children and Fattore after the murder of Caleb Harrison.

They will be found in January 2014 in Nova Scotia. Chris Fattore was then charged with the double murder.

The trial continues Friday with testimony from a police forensic identification expert. legal this time about the murder of the 40-year-old man.

With information from CBC

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