Chad Davis was hit in the head and killed in an attack from behind — possibly with a hammer, Manitoba's Chief Medical Examiner testified this morning.
And no defensive wounds were found on the 22-year-old's body during a July 24, 2008 autopsy, said Dr. Thambirajah Balachandra.
Balachandra was called to give evidence at the ongoing first-degree murder trial of Kristopher Brincheski, 31 and Corey Tymchyshyn, 37, in connection with the death of Davis.
They have pleaded not guilty and are presumed innocent.
The Crown alleges the men killed Davis inside a garage at a home on Prince Rupert Avenue on Feb. 6, 2008, then put his clothed body in a barrel and dumped it in the Winnipeg River outside of Lac du Bonnet.
Davis' remains weren't found until July 23, 2008 when a cottager opened a plastic barrel that had washed up near his dock.
The condition of the victim's body was consistent with being in the vessel for months, perhaps through a period of freezing and then gradual warming, Balachandra said.
"He did not die within weeks (of being found)," he said. "Probably months."
There was no evidence to show he had drowned, said the doctor.
The autopsy found numerous skull fractures to the back of Davis's head.
Three of the injuries would have caused Davis to likely lose consciousness, and possibly caused his death, said Balachandra.
It appears he suffered further head injuries after he had fallen face-first to the ground, he said.
The Crown and RCMP claim Davis was killed because of an outstanding drug debt Tymchyshyn owed him.