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Phoenix jury hears tape of stepfather's police interview

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A Winnipeg jury has started listening to a nine-hour interview in which Karl McKay agrees to show police exactly where he buried the body of five-year-old Phoenix Sinclair.

The March 2006 discussion began inside Headingley Jail and ended with McKay leading RCMP investigators to the specific burial site near the local landfill on the Fisher River First Nation, about 200 kilometres north of Winnipeg.

"We need to put a rest to this once and for all, so that everyone can have some peace about this," Sgt. Norman Charett told McKay during the lengthy audio taped chat.

"Phoenix didn't just walk away and start a life on her own. To have this girl sitting out there like she's trash ... She's spent enough time out there."

McKay initially refused to give any details beyond a vague map he drew for police but later breaks down in tears and says "Okay, I'll do the right thing ... I'll show you the exact spot."

"I have a heart," says McKay. "I'm not just doing this to score brownie points."

McKay described his love for his other children, his fears about having them raised through the social welfare system and tells police about how he once saved the life of a choking baby by dislodging an item from his throat.

"It's sad when children die," says McKay, who asks police if his first-degree murder charge might ultimately get reduced.

"Maybe it will come down to second-degree or even criminal negligence," he says.

Police say the directions to Phoenix's remains "puts a good light on you," but don't make any promises.

Jurors are continuing this afternoon to hear discussions that occurred between McKay and RCMP during the car ride up to Fisher River.

McKay also tells police on the tape how he was being called "baby killer" by other inmates in jail and his disgust at being housed in a cell with another man charged with killing a child.

He also blames his own abusive, alcoholic father for not setting him straight earlier in life.

"If it wasn't for alcohol, I'd have been an upstanding citizen. I wouldn't be sitting here," he says.

McKay and his former common law wife, Samantha Kematch, have pleaded not guilty to the June 2005 death of Phoenix. The killing wasn't discovered until March 2006 after McKay's two teenage sons told their mother about things they'd witnessed while inside the same home as Phoenix.

The boys told jurors last week that Phoenix was repeatedly abused, neglected and degraded by McKay and Kematch over the course of several months preceding her death. They said the couple "took turns" beating her and then covered up the killing by wrapping her body in tarp and burying it near the dump.

www.mikeoncrime.com

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