Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Accused denies being present during killing

Admits role in disposing of body

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Corey Tymchyshyn took the stand in his own defence Tuesday and pointed the finger of blame for the killing squarely at his co-accused.

He denied being present when Chad Davis was killed.

"I did not kill Chad Davis," he said with a near scoff, when asked directly by his lawyer, Kristen Jones, if he'd been involved. "(Nor did I) plan to kill Chad Davis," he said.

Tymchyshyn does admit, however, to playing a central role in a plan to wrap Davis's lifeless body in plastic sheeting, place him in a plastic barrel and dump him in the Lee River just outside Lac du Bonnet.

Challenged by prosecutors that his friend committed a brutal and planned murder -- one he's also suspected in -- Tymchyshyn physically flinched in the witness stand Tuesday.

"He was fighting for his life," Tymchyshyn testified of the alleged actions of Kristopher Brincheski on Feb. 6, 2008, inside a garage on Prince Rupert Avenue.

Brincheski, 31, and Tymchyshyn, 37, are accused of first-degree murder in connection to the death of Davis, 22. Both have pleaded not guilty and are presumed innocent.

Tymchyshyn said Brincheski owed Davis $10,000 for cocaine and couldn't pay.

This led to an angry confrontation in the garage between the two men.

Davis attacked Brincheski by "pistol-whipping" him with a Glock handgun, knocking him down, Tymchyshyn said Brincheski told him.

Brincheski said he managed to grab hold of a hammer and strike Davis on the head with it, Tymchyshyn testified.

Tymchyshyn said he went to a hydroponics store in Davis's Jeep, leaving an "angry, irritated" Davis and Brincheski alone in the garage to work on a marijuana grow-operation.

When he returned, he found Brincheski bloodied and looking "pretty beaten up," and Davis lying motionless on some plastic sheeting, he told court.

"Hysterical. He was crying. It was pretty bad," Tymchyshyn testified of Brincheski's demeanour.

"I stepped back, went outside of the garage and lost my mind," he said.

RCMP and prosecutors allege Tymchyshyn was directly involved in Davis's killing, and phone records and text messages show a plan between the men to lure Davis into the garage.

Just before Davis was killed, Tymchyshyn sent two texts to Brincheski, the latter misdialed to a non-existent number.

"We will be in soon," said the first. "He's wearing a hat don't miss," said the other.

Crown attorney Brent Davidson fired question after question at Tymchyshyn about his involvement in the drug trade and pressed for details about the day of the killing.

Davidson asserted Tymchyshyn owed Davis thousands of dollars, was otherwise heavily in debt and had loaned his $28,000 truck to Davis to try to satisfy some of what he owed him.

Tymchyshyn told Winnipeg police missing-persons investigators he had owed Davis $18,000 for cocaine, but the debt had been paid.

Davidson theorized Davis planned to try to buy the Prince Rupert Avenue home out from under Tymchyshyn to settle the score.

When Davis wound up killed, Tymchyshyn was able to secure a large box of the victim's cocaine from a storage locker on the day he was killed to sell for his own gain, Davidson alleged.

Tymchyshyn denied this and rebuffed assertions Davis's death was his chance to become just like him -- a multi-kilogram coke dealer with cash and fancy possessions -- instead of a small-time pot grower.

"Chad Davis going missing really worked out well for you, didn't it, sir?" the prosecutor asked.

"You get rid of all your debts in one fell swoop, you kept your house, you get your truck back."

"No it didn't," replied Tymchyshyn. "That's only an assumption."

Many of Tymchyshyn's answers about events on the day of the death came out as vague in terms of details and specifics.

He alternately blamed the lack of clarity on marijuana use, the circumstances of the day and the passage of time.

james.turner@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition February 19, 2014 A5

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