Defence pokes holes in murder trial testimony

« I don’t think it should be used. You shouldn’t use this one since I had just come out of the hospital. »


The sister of accused double-killer Thomas Svekla has told various versions of events that contain major discrepancies, his defence lawyer pointed out yesterday.

But Donna Parkinson told court during cross-examination that she wants the statement she gave to police on June 12, 2004 thrown out because she was tired and under the influence of anesthetic from a painful knee surgery the day before.

"Do you know what I think of this statement? I don’t think it should be used," she said, holding up a copy of the transcripts from her police interviews. "You shouldn’t use this one since I had just come out of the hospital."

At issue is what she told police in 2004 after her brother revealed that he had found a body in the woods, east of the city, and his behaviour a week prior.

She testified on Monday that his arms had appeared "scratched to hell" when he told her in a panic he had done a bad thing. He was wearing an unwrinkled shirt that was so clean that it appeared "as white as snow," she said.

However, in her 2004 police interview, she said the scratches were actually "very faint" and weren’t any deeper than the ones she got from trimming rose bushes. She also told police that she couldn’t remember anything peculiar about his appearance, or even recall the shirt he was wearing.

Lawyer Robert Shaigec pointed out that she also told police that the "bad thing" referred to how her brother felt bad that his father wasn’t speaking with him.

While Parkinson told court her brother had given her two versions of how he found the body, she told police four years ago an entirely different tale: he saw a skeleton, ran and tripped over another body before he tore out of there "like a bunch of banshees."

Svekla, a 39-year-old mechanic, is charged with second-degree murder in the deaths of Rachel Quinney, 19, and Theresa Innes, 36. Quinney’s body was found in June 2004 while Innes was discovered stuffed in a hockey bag in May 2006.

He’s pleaded not guilty to all charges. The trial continues today and is expected to last until June.

Project Kare

  • Svekla’s the first person to face charges by Project Kare, a police task force investigating the murder and disappearance of those living high-risk lifestyles, including sex-trade workers.

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