PEMBROKE – Well known Arnprior volunteer Bill Kirby is starting 2021 back in court as his trial on charges of attempted murder, kidnapping, aggravated assault and death threats got underway this week.
Yesterday (Jan. 6), the victim of the 74-year-old’s alleged crimes took to the stand at the Pembroke courthouse to share her memories of the 2018 incident.
(violent details of the crime are reported below, the victim will not be named in this story)
Kirby was arrested on Sept. 13, 2018 after a woman was found in critical condition in a wooded area off Gunsmith Road in McNab-Braeside. Kirby is accused of kidnapping the victim in a crime the police say involved him driving roughly 20-minutes; stabbing the victim once in the stomach; kicking the victim while she was lying on the ground; and stabbing her again in the neck. The weapon used is described as a brown handled throwing knife. Two other knives from the same set as the suspected instrument were found in Kirby’s car.
The victim testified she and the accused were in a romantic relationship for 18 to 19 years. The victim said near the end of their relationship, Kirby would follow her around and accuse her of sleeping around with her co-workers. The court heard that Kirby would wait outside her work during all of her breaks. Through their relationship the victim said she had no safety concerns and Kirby was never been physical with her.
Just before noon Sept. 13, the victim left Sandvik in Arnprior where she was working at the time, to go meet Kirby who was waiting with some of her personal belongings. Kirby was waiting on Didek Drive across from the Arnprior Humane Society. Thinking she was only going to be a few minutes, she left her car running, unlocked with the driver side window down. The victim got in Kirby’s vehicle to grab her things and he drove off.
The victim told Kirby her vehicle was running and said his response was “let the (expletive deleted) thing run out of gas.” She tried to jump out of the moving vehicle, but Kirby went on to say “go ahead, I’ll run you over.”
After that she stopped trying to escape.
“His eyes were scary, I’ve never seen him like that,” she told the court.
As they continued to drive, the victim said she tried to pick up a phone and call for help, but Kirby had already removed the battery and proceeded to punch her in the side of the head.
From Sandvik, the victim reported Kirby took them down Madawaska Drive to County Road 29 and onto Highway 417 where they got off at the very next exit at Daniel Street and headed towards White Lake. Kirby turned onto the Seventh Concession (Robertson Line), made another turn onto Hidden River Road before turning onto Gunsmith Road and heading down to the end.
When they got out of the vehicle at the end of Gunsmith Road the victim testified Kirby put his hand on her left shoulder and said to her “today’s your day to die you lying (expletive deleted),” before stabbing her in the stomach. The victim says she pleaded with Kirby to go back to town saying they could forget the incident ever happened. Through tears, the victim told the court she said those things because she didn’t want to die.
The victim testified Kirby walked them both into the woods where she tripped, falling to the ground and was kicked to the point where she needed multiple stiches. After getting back and walking further into the woods the victim was stabbed in the neck. She described feeling a pain, taking a couple of steps before laying on the ground and curling up in the fetal position. The victim says at this point she begged Kirby not to leave her alone in the bushes and to call for help.
That call for help was a 40-minute audio recording that included several 911 calls and was entered in as evidence. The recording was captured from an Olympus recording device Kirby was carrying on him at the time of the attack. Kirby can be heard on the recording calling 911 and giving dispatch the directions to find them. Near the end of the recoding Kirby is heard telling police officers “we had a fight and I hit her with the knife.” The recording appears to have started shortly after the victim was stabbed the second time and lasts up until Kirby is arrested.
The victim recovered after being treated overnight at an Ottawa hospital, but says her neck still bothers her on a regular basis and she still has scars. She says due to the bruising and the cuts she wasn’t able to look at herself in the mirror for a while.
The trial started Monday (Jan. 4) and a number of witnesses who work with the victim took the stand including the one who found her car still running and first called the OPP. One of the responding officers, a forensic identification officer and the daughter of Kirby have also taken the stand already. The victim was back on the stand today (Jan. 7) to finish testifying and be cross-examined by the defense.
Kirby was a well-known hockey referee softball umpire and was a volunteer with Arnprior Community Policing. trial is booked until Jan. 14. Kirby was found guilty last March in five of six counts of sexual assaults on two victims dating back roughly 50-years. Sentencing for that crime is set for March.