Upset after an argument with boyfriend Daniel Jensen, Clarice Smith woke her three-year-old son Hunter from sleep in the wee hours of October 30, 2019, with a plan to leave their Pritchard Avenue home.
“I don’t know where we were going to go, but I was going to take him somewhere… because I didn’t feel safe with Dan,” Smith said Tuesday.
Convinced by a friend to let the boy sleep, Smith joined Jensen, her sister and her boyfriend, with whom she had been drinking for several hours, for one last stop at the bar at the Northern Hotel.
When asked if this was the last time she saw Hunter before he was found in bed later that morning, suffering from six stab wounds to the head and neck, Smith said replied calmly: “Yes”, before shutting up and crying.
Jensen, 34, has pleaded not guilty to first degree murder in the death of Hunter Smith-Straight.
Smith said the group had been drinking in a few bars and at the McPhillips Station Casino before a friend brought them back to Pritchard Avenue so Smith could drop off a few bottles of alcohol.
During the drive home, Smith and Jensen had an argument – Smith couldn’t remember what – and Jensen threatened to “have your son taken away from you,” Smith said.
Once at the Northern Hotel, the group were joined by two male acquaintances, one of whom made Jensen jealous, Smith said.
Jensen got angry and “was like, ‘You want it’,” Smith said.
Smith told the court that at the time she planned to move out of the Pritchard Avenue home to live with her mother in her home community of Manigotagan.
“I told him that only Hunter and I were going to move in with my mom… He got angry. He hit me on the cheek,” she said.
Prosecutors allege Jensen killed Hunter while attempting to injure Smith “in the most cruel and permanent manner.”
Jurors were told they could expect to hear testimony from one of Hunter’s cousins that Jensen had come home alone and made his way to an upstairs suite where Hunter was sleeping. some time before being discovered with a knife in the neck around 2:30 am.
Police clothing later seized from Jensen contained blood matching Hunter’s DNA profile, prosecutors told jurors.
Someone once said that a journalist is just a journalist in a good suit. Dean Pritchard doesn’t have a good costume. But he’s having a good trial.
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