Thomas Svekla has been found guilty of second-degree murder and committing indignity to the body of Theresa Innes, one of two prostitutes he was accused of killing.
However, Court of Queen’s Bench Judge Sterling Sanderman decided yesterday that there was not enough evidence to tie Svekla to the murder of Rachel Quinney, other than the fact that he found her mutilated body.
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Cries of shock and disappointment from Quinney’s family were heard in the packed courtroom after the verdict was read, while Svekla looked down with his arms crossed.
When Sanderman concluded that Svekla did, in fact, murder Innes, the accused killer wore a look of puzzled disbelief.
Though all evidence presented by the Crown prosecutors was circumstantial, and there was no forensic evidence, Sanderman ruled that Svekla’s behaviour, coupled with a web of provable lies, made his story about how he came in possession of Innes’ body “fanciful and ridiculous.”
“His story is preposterous and incapable of belief, and was concocted by Mr. Svekla to get himself out of a tight jam,” Sanderman said.
The elaborate “cocoon” wrapping of Innes’ naked body, which was wrapped in Svekla’s shower curtain and bound with mechanic’s wire, was a key piece of evidence in the case. The body was found by Svekla’s sister, Donna Parkinson.
“Donna Parkinson may be a hero in this case,” said Crown prosecutor Ashley Finlayson. “It was she who made the phone call that set the wheels in motion in the arrest.”
Svekla will be sentenced next week.