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Accused in slaying of Montreal store clerk sought weapon disposal advice on web

Last Updated Sep 19, 2017 at 4:00 pm PDT

MONTREAL – A man accused of killing a young grocery store clerk in Montreal allegedly used his smartphone to make numerous web searches in the days following the slaying that were related to the crime, a Crown witness testified Tuesday.

Montreal police officer Francesco Massa said he discovered numerous searches on the suspect’s phone including, “how to clean a blood stain,” and “how to get rid of a weapon.”

Randy Tshilumba, 21, is on trial for first-degree murder in the stabbing death of Clemence Beaulieu-Patry.

The young woman was attacked around 8:30 p.m. on April 10, 2016, in the grocery store where she worked.

Tshilumba was arrested two days after the murder, and has pleaded not guilty.

His lawyer, Philippe Larochelle, told Quebec Superior Court Justice Helene Di Salvo that he would present a defence against the murder charge.

Massa, an investigator with the Montreal police’s technological crimes unit, told the court about the searches he discovered on the phone, which was seized at the suspect’s home on April 12.

His analysis demonstrated the accused allegedly used the phone to search terms the day following the killing, such as “how to burn clothes,” and “how to get rid of evidence.”

Massa talked about other searches he found including inquiries about garbage pickup days as well as how to use bleach to destroy evidence.

The officer said he was able to determine the accused was apparently checking for news stories, using key words such as “supermarket murder” and “Montreal murder 2016.”

Tshilumba has admitted the phone belongs to him.

The Crown completed the presentation of its evidence Tuesday and the defence is expected to begin its case on Thursday.