Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Accused 'genial,' officer testifies

Admitted he had owed victim drug money

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His girlfriend says he was the type of man who'd rather drink and drive than take a cab anywhere.

But take a cab is what Chad Davis did on the last day he was seen alive, one of his accused killers told police about the missing 22-year-old.

That's what a jury heard Wednesday in the first-degree murder trial of Corey Tymchyshyn, 37, and Kristopher Brincheski, 31.

The men have pleaded not guilty in connection with Davis's slaying.

Winnipeg police Det. Matthew Freeman was one of several officers in the organized crime unit looking into a missing persons report on Feb. 12, 2008 -- six days after Davis was last seen.

Freeman interviewed Tymchyshyn on Feb. 19, after playing "phone tag" with him for a couple of days, he testified.

There was no indication it was a homicide case at that point, he said, just a missing persons inquiry.

He and Tymchyshyn had a "fairly genial, fairly light" interview in a cruiser car outside his mother's home, Freeman told jurors.

Tymchyshyn said Davis -- his friend and former roommate -- had been at his home on Feb. 6 or 7 because they were supposed to go to a hydroponics store together in Davis's Jeep, the officer testified.

Davis was "in good spirits," stayed for 30 to 60 minutes and was seen texting on his BlackBerry during the visit, Tymchyshyn told the cop.

They never went to the store. A white taxicab arrived and Davis left in it after taking a black suitcase and blue rubber container from his Jeep, Tymchyshyn recounted.

Davis appeared familiar with the cab driver as he had shaken his hand, Freeman said Tymchyshyn told him.

Tymchyshyn said Davis left the keys to the Jeep with him, said Freeman.

"Chad had told him he was getting out of town for a few days, that he needed Corey to pick him up when he returned," was what Tymchyshyn told police, Freeman testified.

Surprisingly, said Freeman, Tymchyshyn disclosed he had owed Davis a substantial debt of $18,000 for cocaine he had used over the last 45 days.

"He made it clear to us it was for personal cocaine use," the officer said.

The debt was satisfied through legitimate work Tymchyshyn said he was doing for his dad's company and also by lending Davis his truck.

Tymchyshyn maintained his debt to Davis had been fully paid, said Freeman.

"He was concerned about Chad and had no idea where he would have gone," Freeman testified Tymchyshyn told him.

Tuesday, Davis's girlfriend at the time, Courtney Sych, testified Davis was extremely protective of his possessions and "wouldn't ever" take a cab, even if he'd been drinking.

"He had to do it himself," said Sych. "He wouldn't rely on a cab driver or a ride. He always had to do things himself," she said.

She conceded Davis didn't always tell her everything about his life, had lied to her in the past and disappeared before without telling her where he was going.

Brincheski's name never came up as part of the missing persons investigation, said Freeman.

The Crown tendered a statement of facts for the jury stating there's no record of any taxi being dispatched to 703 Prince Rupert Ave. after noon on Feb. 6, 2008.

The Spring Taxi company, however, could not provide any records because they no longer have them, the statement said.

Davis's death wasn't discovered until July 23, 2008, when his decomposing body was found inside a barrel recovered from the Lee River near Lac du Bonnet.

The Crown alleges the men fatally attacked Davis on Feb. 6, 2008 in a garage on Prince Rupert Avenue, where Tymchyshyn lived with his mother.

The killing was committed over a drug debt Tymchyshyn owed Davis, RCMP and prosecutors allege.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition January 23, 2014 A8


Updated on Thursday, January 23, 2014 at 7:20 AM CST: Replaces photo

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