Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION
Posted: 02/13/2013 1:00 AM
Curtis James Haas confessed in a police interview to providing a "safe haven" to a young woman who visited his Manitoba Housing apartment and to having some orange "street morphine" pills, but not to being responsible for the 2007 overdose death of 20-year-old Wendy Henry.
The video of police interviewing Haas, 52, after his arrest was played Tuesday afternoon at his Court of Queen's Bench trial for manslaughter and trafficking.
The case is believed to be the first in Manitoba in which an overdose death resulted in charges against the person alleged to have provided the drug. Winnipeg police have said similar arrests and prosecutions could follow if the current case results in a conviction.
In a video the court saw Tuesday, Haas told police he was a recovering addict and accident prone with the scars from many injuries to prove it. He said he only took prescription medication, such as sleeping pills and Tylenol 3.
Henry collapsed and stopped breathing in October 2007 at Haas's suite after overdosing on morphine.
Police became suspicious after learning another woman in the same block overdosed the previous night but survived. Police took a full sworn statement from Haas the Crown plans to use against him. Defence lawyer Darren Sawchuk is challenging the voluntariness of the statement and will seek to have the judge dismiss it.
On Monday, a security guard testified he saw Haas performing CPR on Henry and that he told the guard she'd gotten into his pills.
In the video Tuesday, Haas said he was given "street morphine" but wouldn't identify the source. He wouldn't talk about Henry taking it.
He told police he'd picked up Henry downtown when friends with whom she was supposed to see the Ozzy Osbourne concert at the MTS Centre didn't show up. When he returned to his suite with Henry, his neighbour and friend Angel joined them. The detectives told Haas that Angel told police Haas gave her morphine there that night. Angel overdosed but survived.
"I think I gave (Angel) five or six and told her not to take all of them at once," Haas said in the video. "She just laughed at me." The police asked Haas if Henry had asked for some morphine, too.
"I don't want to talk anymore," he said in the video.
Haas told the detectives he met Henry when she was there to see her mother who also lived in the subsidized housing apartment block. He was never introduced to her mother by Henry, he said.
"She said 'you are my safe haven away from the nuttiness of my family... They will destroy you,' " Haas told police.
When she overdosed, he called 911 and tried performing CPR.
The detectives asked Haas that if Henry took too much morphine, wouldn't it be her fault that she overdosed.
"I believe it is."
One of the detectives asked if Haas felt morally responsible for Henry's death.
"I only meant to help her," he said. "I didn't mean for anything else to happen."
The trial continues today with the rest of the videotaped police interview shown.
Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition February 13, 2013 A6
Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories? Please use the form below and let us know.
Having problems with the form?Contact Us Directly
Multiple emergency vehicles respond to semi-trailer truck crash on west Perimeter Hwy
Turkey: 49 hostages have been freed
Dealer sentenced to 7 years for beating death of customer
Fraud line's number kept under wraps
Fans name Ken Ploen best Blue Bombers quarterback
Legendary folk artist Buffy Sainte-Marie is cautiously optimistic about CMHR
NDP forces debate on aboriginal women
Goodell: 'Same mistakes can never be repeated'
Canadian Museum for Human Rights officially open
Convicted killer on the loose after violating parole
Polar bear exhibit's underwater tunnel temporarily shut after bears chew into silicone
Steeves challenges opponents on paying for BRT
Laptop stolen from HSC office held patients' information
An emotional journey
Canada's top court rules against banks
Winnipeg School Division trustee wants minister to look into school bus problems
Burke weighs in on NFL domestic abuse scandal
Scots reject independence in historic vote
CEO Sleepout raises $210K, awareness for homeless plight
Alibaba stock soars in jubilant trading debut
Jets training camp kicks off
U of M alumna, now UN ombudsperson, to speak Monday
Tribe Called Red cancelled performance over use of word genocide
Travel biz pleads for regulation
Surprisingly warm morning, but showers likely
Man charged after sexual assaults in 2010, 2013
Look and touch
New ideas, but little in major policies
Maurice has influence, pedigree to make Winnipeg a contender
Manitoba's wholesale numbers up in July
Manitoba sees no change in inflation rate
Liam Neeson perfectly captures crime novelist's troubled gumshoe
Diagnosing our health care
Floods shut down Philippine capital, 3 killed
France joins US against Islamic State over Iraq