Accused double-killer Thomas Svekla casually admitted during a coffee break conversation that he killed someone, a former co-worker testified yesterday.
“It freaked me out a little bit, but I never said anything about it,” said Gord Janke, a worker at Fountain Tire in High Level.
Janke told court that Svekla made the comment out of the blue; along with saying he had a dark past, at the shop where the accused killer worked as a mechanic.
As soon as Svekla made the shocking comment, Janke later told court he walked away from the conversation because Svekla “would like to draw attention to himself.”
“He would say s--t and then laugh about it, he’s a joker,” said Janke, through a transcript of a police interview that was admitted as evidence.
The co-worker also said he couldn’t get along with Svekla, especially after an incident when the accused killer threw a wrench at him, annoyed at Janke’s whistling.
Svekla is charged with two counts of second-degree murder in the deaths of Rachel Quinney, 19, and Theresa Innes, 36. Quinney’s mutilated body was found in a field east of Edmonton in June 2004.
Innes’s body was found in a hockey bag that was owned by Svekla in May 2006. The Crown believes Innes was killed in High Level before her body was taken to Fort Saskatchewan — to a home that belonged to Svekla’s sister.
In another police transcript admitted as evidence, Janke said Svekla mentioned a woman named Theresa at work.
“He always said she was a nice lady, she cooked for him and cleaned his place,” told Janke. “She was staying at his place for a while.”
Another witness testified Svekla also once said he was scared to walk in the woods alone after discovering a body in Edmonton.
“It was just a random conversation we had, he mentioned he came across a random body in Edmonton,” said Phillip Gerbrandt, a tire technician at the Fountain Tire.
Gerbrandt also told court that Svekla fled from the shop in the middle of his shift when the RCMP arrived.
“I saw the RCMP vehicle pull up, and then Svekla went into his bay,” said Gerbrandt. “When they came in, he ran away.”
The trial continues.