Jesse West says son killed Chelsey Acorn during an argument

West, on trial for Acorn's murder, claims he buried the Abbotsford teen's body to protect his son, Dustin Moir.

Jesse Blue West testified in court Thursday that his son, Dustin Moir, killed 14-year-old Chelsey Acorn of Abbotsford during an argument at a campground in 2005, and West buried her body to protect him.

West said he later lied and told a “crime boss” – actually an undercover police officer – that it was he who had killed Acorn in order to get “all the big steak dinners and travel” that would come with being part of the criminal organization.

West, 60, is on trial in B.C. Supreme Court in Chilliwack for the first-degree murder of Acorn, whose body was found in a wooded area in April 2006 off the Coquihalla Highway near the Carolin Mines exit.

Acorn had been reported missing from an Abbotsford foster home on June 10, 2005, and an autopsy determined she had been murdered in the fall of that year.

However, West said her death took place on June 11, 2005.

He said he first met Acorn in about February or March of that year through his son, and he believed the pair to be in a relationship.

The two would sometimes stay at West’s apartment in Surrey when he was travelling for his job as a long-haul trucker.

West said that on June 10, 2005 – a Friday – Moir asked West if he and Acorn could stay at the apartment. But West said he would be home for the weekend and recommended the pair go camping instead.

West said he picked the couple up in Abbotsford and dropped them off at a campground off the Coquihalla Highway where he had stayed “two or three times” the previous year. The area had four or five campsites, and only one was still available, he said.

West made arrangements to return the following day to see how Moir and Acorn were doing. He said they were arguing when he arrived.

“She looked like she was mad … She was shaking her hand at him – more or less, getting her point across to him, I thought,” West testified.

He said Moir walked over to him and told him that Acorn was claiming to be pregnant with Moir’s child, and she wanted to move in with him but was angry because he was living with someone else at the time.

West said he then told Moir that he would take the couple home, and he went for a walk to give them time to cool down and pack up their stuff.

West said as he was walking back toward the campsite, he saw Moir and Acorn arguing near the river – less than 20 feet from their tent – and it appeared that Moir swung at the teen, knocking her to the ground.

Acorn did not get up and was not moving by the time West got to them, he said. She had a gash on her forehead and over her right eye. He said he spent the next several minutes trying to find a pulse and, when he couldn’t, he determined she was dead.

West said he then went into “recovery mode.”

“That’s when I made the big mistake and decided I would cover up the incident … I decided I would bury Chelsey.”

West said he used a machete and his bare hands to dig an 18-inch-deep hole in the fire pit located in front of the tent area, and stripped Acorn of her clothes so that it would be more difficult to identify her if she were found.

He said he then gently placed her in the hole, on her side in a fetal position, and covered her face with a napkin. Next, he placed seven or eight large rocks, followed by a layer of dirt.

Crown counsel Carolyn Kramer asked West if he then tramped down the dirt with his feet.

“No. I did have respect for her,” he said.

West said Moir was “in a daze” and did not help bury Acorn. The pair then cleaned up the campsite and later disposed of all Acorn’s belongings in a dumpster at a Tim Hortons coffee shop in Chilliwack.

West and Moir were both arrested and charged in May 2007 following a “Mr. Big” operation in which undercover officers posed as members of a criminal organization.

West was shown in undercover footage confessing to the “crime boss” that he had killed Acorn, but he testified on Thursday he lied to win favour with the boss.

“The guy’s going to hand me $50,000 in a few days, an Avalanche, a Harley. Those are great incentives to say whatever you want me to say,” West said.

Also in taped evidence previously shown in court, West claimed to have knowledge of two other murders, and tried to cut a deal with two investigators to provide details of those crimes. Among his terms was that he be moved from “the hole” (the segregation unit) in prison.

On Thursday, he said he lied about the other murders because he was desperate.

“I was being ill-treated, bullied, numerous times a day every day … I would have said anything you wanted me to say to get out of the situation I was in and get in a better situation.”

West’s trial began Sept. 11 and is expected to wrap up next week, with a later date to be scheduled for the judge’s verdict.

Moir was convicted of Acorn’s murder in February 2010 and is currently serving a life sentence with no chance of parole for 25 years.

 

 

 

 

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Chief Robert Gladstone of Shxwha:y Village at a federal flood funding announcement April 24, 2019. (Jenna Hauck/Chilliwack Progress file)
Consortium of Indigenous chiefs seeking a way to participate in cannabis economy

All Nations Chiefs from the Shxwha:y, Cheam, Soowahlie and Sq’ewlets holding online forum Dec. 2

This home at 32228 Buffalo Drive in Mission was all lit up for the holidays in 2019. / Submitted Photo
Tell us about your Christmas light displays in Mission

Holiday-light list to be published online and in newspaper

A vehicle incident is blocking all lanes west of 216th Street on the Trans-Canada Highway in Langley on Nov. 27, 2020. Traffic is getting by only on the shoulder. (DriveBC photo)
UPDATE: New incident on Highway 1 in Langley, crashes involving 10 cars cleared

New incident is reported eastbound underneath the 216th Street overpass

Students at the Chilliwack campus of the University of the Fraser Valley. (Darren MacDonald/ UFV)
UFV asking students to voluntarily report COVID cases and exposures to the school

With COVID cases rising and Fraser Health struggling to keep up, students are asked to help

Jesse Arnett facing off against Pedro Souza on Oct. 30, 2020. Arnett defeated Souza by unanimous decision. His record stands at 17 wins and 6 losses, with 14 finishes. / Gerardo Ramos photo.
Road to the Big Show: Mission Secondary’s wrestling champ speaks about his journey through MMA

Jesse ‘Big Cat’ Arnett was Mission’s 1st National Wresting Champion, now a top-ranked 135 fighter

A woman wears a protective face covering to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as she walks along the seawall in North Vancouver Wednesday, November 25, 2020.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
911 new COVID-19 cases, 11 deaths as B.C. sees deadliest week since pandemic began

Hospitalizations reach more than 300 across the province

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

Screenshot of Pastor James Butler giving a sermon at Free Grace Baptist Church in Chilliwack on Nov. 22, 2020. The church has decided to continue in-person services despite a public health order banning worship services that was issued on Nov. 19, 2020. (YouTube)
2 Lower Mainland churches continue in-person services despite public health orders

Pastors say faith groups are unfairly targeted and that charter rights protect their decisions

A big job: Former forests minister Doug Donaldson stands before a 500-year-old Douglas fir in Saanich to announce preservation of some of B.C.’s oldest trees, July 2019. (B.C. government)
B.C. returning to ‘stand-alone’ forests, rural development ministry

Horgan says Gordon Campbell’s super-ministry doesn’t work

Despite rumours, Surrey RCMP say they are not issuing tickets to people if they are driving in a vehicle with others from a different household. (File photo)
COVID-19 tickets: No, RCMP aren’t checking vehicle occupancies, restaurant tables

Enforcement about education, not punishment says Surrey RCMP Cpl. Joanie Sidhu

Alexandre Bissonnette, who pleaded guilty to a mass shooting at a Quebec City mosque, arrives at the courthouse in Quebec City on February 21, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Mathieu Belanger - POOL
Court strikes down consecutive life sentences; mosque shooter has prison term cut

The decision was appealed by both the defence and the Crown

File
LETTER: Public should provide feedback on Mission’s proposed budget

Writer feels more community push back is needed to stop annual property tax increases

Gold medallists in the ice dance, free dance figure skating Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, of Canada, pose during their medals ceremony at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Charlie Riedel
Olympic champions Virtue, Moir and Tewksbury among 114 Order of Canada inductees

Moir and Virtue catapulted to national stardom with their gold-medal performances at the Winter Olympics in 2018

Letter
LETTER: Development will change area forever

Project on Hurd and 7th Ave. doesn’t sit well with at least one reader

Most Read