A jury deliberated for just two hours and nine minutes Thursday before convicting two Winnipeg men of first-degree murder in the brutal death of Chad Davis.
Corey Tymchyshyn, 37, and Kristopher Brincheski, 31, will serve life sentences for Davis's killing, which took place inside the garage at 703 Prince Rupert Ave. on Feb. 6, 2008.
"Nobody deserves this kind of fate regardless of what they were involved in," Court of Queen's Bench Justice Brenda Keyser told the men.
"It is shocking to see the cold-blooded manner in which this was carried out and the way the body was disposed," Keyser said. "This was a particularly callous killing."
Tymchyshyn remained composed as the verdict was read, while Brincheski appeared to cry and shook in the prisoner's dock.
The jury believed the men lured Davis, 22, to the garage with the intent of killing him before sealing his body in a plastic barrel and dumping it in the Lee River outside Lac du Bonnet.
Davis was declared a missing person soon after and remained so for 189 days until his badly beaten body was found in the barrel July 23, 2008.
Prosecutors asserted Davis, a cocaine dealer, was killed in cold blood over a drug debt Tymchyshyn owed.
Tymchyshyn and Brincheski were friends and became partners in a roofing business not long after the killing.
The men were arrested Sept. 11, 2008.
The case was unusual because both men took to the witness box to advance a "cut-throat defence."
Each blamed the other and swore they neither witnessed nor participated in the homicide.
Brincheski painted Tymchyshyn as a man with a propensity toward violence and intimidation, while Tymchyshyn claimed Brincheski was a liar who was tailoring his testimony to counter the Crown's case.
Each accused admitted to helping the other dispose of Davis's body.
At the centre of the Crown's case were two text messages sent from Tymchyshyn meant for Brincheski around the time Davis was bludgeoned in the garage, wrapped in plastic sheeting and put into the barrel.
"We will be in soon," said one. "He's wearing a hat don't miss," said the next.
Davis suffered numerous head wounds, several of them indicative of being bashed with a hammer-like object, court heard.
He had no defensive wounds. Forensic officers discovered a single drop of blood containing Davis's DNA in the garage.
RCMP investigators went to great lengths to develop physical evidence, including tracing and recovering bits of the plastic sheeting torn out of the garage to a shed in Anola, and performing experiments on a similar barrel in an effort to recreate the type of shavings seen in the rear of Davis's Jeep.
Crown attorney Keith Eyrikson offered few words as the men were sentenced to life, saying the mandatory life term is "fit and proper."
He acknowledged Davis's death and the subsequent court process has been difficult on Davis's family.
"It is my hope this will provide some form of solace," Eyrikson said.
Neither Brincheski nor Tymchyshyn spoke when Keyser offered them the chance.
While they are ineligible to apply for parole for 25 years, they are eligible to request a faint-hope hearing after serving 15 years.
The pair was charged prior to amendments to the Criminal Code in December 2011 that repealed the faint-hope clause.