Crown prosecutors in the trial against accused prostitute killer Thomas Svekla breathed a sigh of relief yesterday, as the judge decided testimony of two women who claimed he choked them was, in fact, admissible.
One of the women claimed that after smoking crack and drinking alcohol with Svekla in his High Level basement suite apartment in 2005, he tried to choke her to death while uttering threats that he would dump her body “where nobody would ever find it.” She said Svekla stopped choking her after she played dead, and was able to escape.
The judge said that because the evidence was so close in time to the discovery of the bodies of Rachel Quinney, 19, and Theresa Innes, 36, and the similarity of victimizing a vulnerable, crack-addicted prostitute made the woman’s testimony admissible.
Also admitted as evidence in the trial is the testimony of Svekla’s high-school girlfriend, who claimed he choked and sexually assaulted her over the course of their relationship.
Svekla is charged with two-counts of second-degree murder in the deaths of Quinney and Innes.
Quinney’s mutilated body was found naked in a field east of Edmonton in June 2004.
Innes’s body was found in a hockey bag in May 2006.