A judge has banned Rachel Quinney’s brother from the trial of her accused killer after he saw him glare at Thomas Svekla and cock his finger to his head like a gun.
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Justice Sterling Sanderman said Quinney’s brother, Keith Lajimodiere, sat down in the courtroom’s viewing area yesterday before making a "menacing" posture.
"It’s clear that this was an attempt to intimidate Mr. Svekla," he said. "That person is not welcome in this courtroom."
After being escorted out of the building by security, Lajimodiere said Svekla has been taunting the Quinney family during the trial by making snickering faces at them — but he denied that he cocked his hand like a gun.
"I scratched my head, but what the judge saw was different," he said.
Lajimodiere’s spouse, Charlotte, said the family is upset about the ban and will ask their lawyer on how to proceed.
"We’re not coming here to be laughed at by somebody accused of murdering our sister," she said. "We’re coming here to hear evidence and hopefully have justice served."
Svekla, a 39-year-old mechanic, is on trial for second-degree murder in the death of Quinney, 19, and Theresa Innes, 36.
The ban came on the same day that court heard graphic testimony from the medical examiner on the condition of Quinney’s body when it was found in the woods in June 2004.
Dr. Graeme Dowling testified that her body was mutilated after death, including having the breasts and genitals removed.
He couldn’t determine an exact cause of her death, he said, but she had enough cocaine in her system that it could have been a contributing factor.
Steve Lillebuen/Metro Edmonton