Published on October 16, 2013
The trial for accused murderer David Folker is in its second week of proceedings at Newfoundland Supreme Court in St. John’s. On Wednesday, the jury heard a videotaped interview with police. — Photo by Rosie Gillingham/The Telegram
Published on October 16, 2013
Ann Marie Shirran
After Shirran went missing, Folker told police there was no physical altercation
David Folker broke down crying several times during his first videotaped interview with police.
It was July 24, 2010, almost a week after he had reported his girlfriend Ann Marie Shirran missing and he was still maintaining that he had no idea where she was.
“I’d like to know,” he told officers during the 1 1/2-hour interview at RNC headquarters.
Little did officers know, Folker was lying.
Last week in court — in the opening days of his trial — the 43-year-old admitted that on July 18, 2010, there had been a physical altercation between him and Shirran and that she died as a result.
He also admitted he disposed of the 32-year-old woman’s body in Cappahayden and then lied to police about what happened.
It came as a surprise to police, the Crown and the judge, who was hearing the admission for the first time.
However, Folker is still maintaining his not-guilty pleas to charges of second-degree murder and improperly or indecently interfering with a human body.
During the videotaped interview — which can be viewed on The Telegram’s website — Folker told Sgt. Pat Roche there was no physical altercation.
“I tell you here and now, I’ve never raised a hand to another person or threatened to hit anybody,” he said.
Later in the interview, he said Shirran thought he had anger issues.
“She thought I needed all kinds of help and needed to take pills,” he said. “She said I needed counselling, but I don’t.”
He said he and Shirran were having problems in their relationship and they often argued about money.
“We were getting further and further in debt,” he said.
He said the day Shirran went missing, the couple discussed breaking up. Folker said he told Shirran he didn’t want to break up. He said he couldn’t stay in St. John’s working “a crappy job” and that he needed to go outside the province to work. He said she didn’t like that idea and that she didn’t trust him.
Folker said Shirran then said, “Screw this. I need a break,” threw her arms in the air and walked out.
It was the last time he said he saw her. He said Shirran had taken off before, “so I just let her go.”
A short time later, when their one-year-old son Moses wouldn’t settle for bed, Folker said, he took him for a drive until he fell asleep. He said he then pulled over himself on the side of the road and fell asleep. He said he woke up at around 2 a.m., came home, put Moses to bed and went to bed himself.
When he awoke and Shirran still wasn’t home, he said he called several of her friends and relatives. He said she’s never been gone overnight since Moses was born.
He called police the next day.
Roche then asked Folker if he had called Shirran’s cell phone?
“No, I did not,” he replied.
“Why not?” Roche asked.
“She left. I wanted to let her cool off,” he said.
Roche added, “I would’ve called her cellphone. This is a woman with a one-year-old baby. … It would be a logical thing to do.”
Folker said her phone was often not in service anyway.
He told Roche that Shirran was a manic depressive, who was on medication.
“There was two Anns. The depressed and angry Ann,” said Folker, who said his girlfriend could also be very loving.
“I want her back,” he added, grabbing tissues from the table and breaking down in tears.
Roche asked Folker, “Do you think you will hear from her?”
“I don’t think so,” Folker replied. “It’s been too long.”
“Do you know what happened to her?” Roche asked.
“I don’t know,” he said, again sobbing.
When Roche and Sgt. Sandy Harvey left the room, and with the video still running, Folker was seen sobbing several times. He sat leaning on the couch, with his head in his hand.
During afternoon proceedings, Roche — who oversaw the investigation in the case — took the stand and told the court that police began following Folker on Aug. 10.
“He was conducting himself in a manner that was concerning to us,” Roche said.
He said Folker had been seen picking up a used vehicle from a dealership on Kenmount Road for a test drive. He said officers observed him changing his clothes before driving to a wooded area in Blackhead. He got out of the car, went in the woods and came back shortly afterwards. Before returning the car to the dealership, he changed back into his other clothes.
As a result of this behaviour, police also made the decision to get Child, Youth and Family Services involved. Later that day, Moses was taken from Folker’s care.
Folker spoke to police the following day, Aug. 11, 2010.
The beginning of that 2 1/2-hour interview — which was also videotaped and can be seen at www.thetelegram.com — was also shown to the jury Wednesday afternoon. The trial will continue today.