August 02, 2014 - 10:24 AM
PRINCE GEORGE, B.C. - The Crown has wrapped up its case after calling 93 witnesses in a serial-murder trial involving the deaths of a teenage girl and three women in northern British Columbia.
Cody Legebokoff, 24, was arrested in November 2010 and charged with four counts of first-degree murder in the Prince George area.
Jurors were given a three-week break Thursday, and will return Aug. 25.
The case began June 2 and was expected to last six to eight months but has progressed much faster, due in part to a series of admissions of fact.
However, B.C. Supreme Court Justice Glen Parrett had promised the jury two weeks off, and a further week was subsequently added to give him and defence and Crown lawyers time to deal with an application.
Parrett did not provide details of the application.
He reminded the jury to refrain from drawing any conclusions as to whether Legebokoff is guilty as charged until all the evidence has been heard.
“The reason I gave you this caution earlier and give it to you again now is that you may form fixed opinions too soon if you discuss the case amongst yourselves before you’ve heard all the evidence,” Parrett said.
Whether defence lawyers will call any witnesses remains to be seen. The Crown has the option to call more evidence in reply if there are any defence witnesses.
Legebokoff is accused in the deaths of Loren Donn Leslie, 15, Jill Stacey Stuchenko, 35, Cynthia Frances Maas, 35, and 23-year-old Natasha Lynn Montgomery.
He was arrested after a conservation officer discovered Leslie's body along a snowy logging road after a police officer spotted Legebokoff's truck speeding out of a remote, snow-covered logging road.
Court heard that Legebokoff explained the blood in his truck by saying he'd been poaching deer with a friend and said he was on the logging road checking out a possible hunting spot/
The trial has heard Leslie, who lived with her mother in Vanderhoof, more than 100 kilometres west of Prince George, struggled with mental health.
Her mental state came under scrutiny because Legebokoff told police the girl had killed herself, though the Crown maintains he murdered her, along with the three women.
News from © The Canadian Press, 2014