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Closing arguments conclude in trial of Orillia man accused of killing a mother of 5

Warning: Some readers may find the details in this article disturbing.

Justice Vanessa Christie must now decide if Rob Sampson is guilty of murdering his girlfriend Tracy Reid after hearing closing submissions from the Crown and Defence.

"He never should've even been charged, and he loved this girl. This was his partner. He didn't harm her," said Debbie Sparrow, a Sampson family friend.

The Crown delivered written submissions to Justice Christie arguing Sampson, who is alleged to have been a controlling, abusive boyfriend, killed the 45-year-old mother of five in the early morning hours of July 19, 2019 and left her body outside his unit at the Silver Swan Motel in Orillia.

Sampson's defence lawyer, Eginhart Ehlers, called the Crown's case "very circumstantial" and asked the judge to acquit his client, adding, "there is no evidence Mr. Sampson caused the death of Tracy Reid."

The Crown argued Sampson was an abusive and controlling boyfriend who left Tracy Reid's beaten, bruised and half-naked body under a bush at the Silver Swan Villa Motel.

The defence has maintained Sampson is innocent, suggesting someone else murdered Reid, whose lifeless body was found face down on the motel property. 

Police quickly identified Sampson as a person of interest in the case, but he wasn't arrested and charged with her death until five months later.

Earlier this month, a coroner testified that he could not provide a definitive primary cause of Reid's death.

The Crown told the court she suffered 60 blunt force injuries, mainly to her head and neck.

The coroner who performed the autopsy noted that those injuries, along with an underlying heart condition and recent exposure to cocaine, likely contributed to her demise.

A forensic biologist took the witness stand to tell the court that DNA evidence found under Reid's fingernails and leg matched Sampson. The court had heard the on-again, off-again couple had been intimate sometime before she died.

Witnesses testified Reid liked to party, often smoking crack cocaine. They said she was "afraid of Rob."Police evidence markers are placed outside the Silver Swan Villa Motel in Orillia, Ont., in July 2019 (Court evidence submission) - Tracy Reid is pictured is this undated photo. (Facebook)

However, Sampson's supporters say he could never partake in anything so brutal. They are hopeful he will be exonerated, adding he has been paying for someone else's crime.

The Crown asked Justice Christie to find Sampson guilty of first-degree murder or manslaughter if it did not prove beyond a reasonable doubt Sampson sexually assaulted Reid prior to her death.

The defence asked Sampson be found not guilty and acquitted in Tracy Reid's death.

Justice Christie is expected to deliver her decision in early August. By that time, Sampson will have spent 1325 days behind bars. By the end of the day on August 4, Sampson, the defence and his loved ones hope he'll be a free man.

With files from CTV's Mike Arsalides Top Stories

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