Kirsty Edmondson, a 23-year-old call girl from a suburb of Manchester, England, is accused of killing a 48-year-old former teacher by injecting him with a heroin overdose, taking selfies next to his corpse, filming herself having sex with her accomplice as the murder victim decomposed -- and living in the victim's apartment with his dead body for two weeks.
But she told a court Thursday that she can explain the whole thing. She's just not the type of person that the sordid scenario makes her appear to be, she testified.
Edmonson and the man she says was her pimp, 36-year-old Christopher Sawyers, are accused of the murder-by-OD of Peter Chapman, a former schoolteacher and client of Edmonson who, the woman says, had become more than a client. She was having an affair with him and he had become "the best person I knew in my life."
Chapman's body was discovered on January 12 of this year.
Both Sawyers and Edmonson deny killing Chapman, each saying the other one did it. But in emotional testimony -- testimony which prosecutors said proves only what a skilled liar she is -- Edmonson told Manchester Crown Court that she took the bizarre selfies and had sex with Sawyers just feet away from Chapman's lifeless body only because she was terrified of her accused pimp.
She is not "a cold, callous killer," she said.
"I know it doesn't look like it in them pictures, but I was scared of him," she testified, offering her explanation for the macabre selfies. "He's just killed somebody in front of me, he said we're both going jail for murder for a long time if I don't stick with him. I believed that. I thought he is capable of doing it again. I've done things before and after Ken's death which I'm deeply ashamed of. But I'm not a cold callous killer that takes 'trophy pictures' -- I'm not that person."
She also said that she has no recollection of actually taking the depraved pictures because she was severely incapacitated by her own drug use at the time. "I was f***** off my face, I was trying to act normal," she told the court.
She testified that Sawyer found news clippings in Chapman's apartment relating to the man's 2007 conviction on charges of child grooming. Sayers flew into a rage, screaming that Chapman was a pedophile and that he, Sawyers, would kill him for it.
Sawyers then repeatedly stabbed Chapman with a heroin-filled syringe, Edmonson said, adding that, "It reminded me of something in a film. It was sick." She tried to stop Sawyers, but he kicked her in the head, she said.
Prosecutors say the motive for the alleged murder is much more mundane. They accuse the pair of killing Chapman after they learned of his £18,000 ($31,000) windfall from selling his house, money they wanted to get their hands on.
They say that after killing Chapman, they stayed in his apartment for two weeks, plundering his online bank account and stealing his property, even posing as Chapman in a text message to the dead man's sister asking her to send £75 (about $125). Edmondson admitted stealing Chapman's money and property but said she had no reason to kill him, because Chapman was already showering her with cash and gifts.
"I'm a thief, a prostitute and a drug addict, but I don't go around murdering people", Kristy Edmonson told the court. "I'm not a killer. It's not how it looks."