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Secretly recorded video of Niemi will be played for jury Tuesday

Tracy McLaughlin

By Tracy McLaughlin, Special to QMI AGENCY

Roy Niemi, 33, of Orillia, is charged with the first-degree murder and indignity to the body of Alyssa Watson. (Facebook Photo)

Roy Niemi, 33, of Orillia, is charged with the first-degree murder and indignity to the body of Alyssa Watson. (Facebook Photo)

Slowly but surely, the elaborate scheme designed by undercover police officers to lure a murder suspect into a false mob ring is beginning to unwind in a Barrie courtroom, Monday.

The scheme with the promise of making big money begins to attract murder suspect Roy Niemi, 34, of Orillia, who believes he is being invited into the mob family.

Niemi, 34, is now on trial before a jury for the murder and mutilation of Alyssa Watson, 20, of Orillia. The young mother of two was found partially naked in the bushes off a walking trail strangled, with her throat cut and her body slashed from her throat to her groin, Aug. 19, 2006.

A year later, stumped with no DNA that points to the killer, police set up the elaborate scheme which starts with an undercover officer befriending him and offering $100 per job as a back-up man to “keep six” and watch for cops while packages are exchanged in the parking lot at the Orillia Square Mall.

Eventually, the set-up jobs spread to Toronto area where the money will pay even better for Niemi, who was living on $400 a month from welfare.

What Niemi doesn’t know, is that his new friend, as well as the other shabbily-dressed strangers exchanging packages, are all undercover police officers.

After some weeks the scheme picks up its pace to try to get Niemi talking about the murder. One sunny day July 4, 2007, Niemi and the undercover officer are driving to Toronto when their vehicle is stopped by a police cruiser near the Esso gas station, south of Memorial Drive.

Enter a new actor, Orillia OPP Const. Leanne Bovay, who is not undercover, but is also in on the scheme. In uniform, Bovay walked up to the vehicle driven by the undercover officer, and casually told him he was speeding.

“You were going 110 in a 90 kilometre zone,” said Bovay. She retrieved the undercover cop’s licence and went back to her cruiser then sauntered back and hands the cop a ticket. Suddenly, she bent to look in the window at Niemi sitting in the passenger seat.

“Don’t I know you?” asked Const. Bovay. “Is it Roy?” The officer pretended to be interested after covering a break-in at Niemi’s residence a year earlier, then radio’s in his name.

“Ya, can you give me a 29 on a male party?” she said in a serious tone into her radio. After giving Niemi’s name and birth date, a static voice on the radio, also in on the scheme, replied.

“Ten-four … the male party is a person of interest in the Alyssa Watson murder. Any contact with him please contact Orillia headquarters.”

After the officer finally left, the undercover officer pretended to be curious.

“Hey man, talk to me, what’s going on?” he said. “Did you have anything to do with this?”

“No man,” said Niemi, who was upset and talked about getting out of town with fake I.D. “I was with the b---h for about an hour that night. We walked around, she left with some friends and that’s about it … man I really gotta smoke about a quarter and a half right now, about this long and this big.”

The officer then told Niemi that he better tell the big crime boss about his situation.

“It’s best he knows man. Like this guy is good. He’s like family and he wants you to be part of the family … we’re going to be making some good f---ing money man.”

“No man, lets just keep it quiet,” insisted Niemi.

Today, a secretly recorded video of Niemi and the officer meeting the big crime boss at the Royal York Hotel in Toronto will be played to the jury.

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