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
Having problems with the form?Contact Us Directly
Mentally ill woman given conditional discharge for public mischief
Firefighters accused of breaching finance laws to back Judy W-L
Judge reserves verdict in trial over Fort Richmond teen's death
University student gets prison time for fatal drunk-driving crash
Man charged in Norway House death
Trial for 2004 killing of Boulanger delayed a year
Woman sent to jail for drunk-driving accident that injured ex-boyfriend
Marty Green files appeal of trespassing conviction
Man caught with cocaine stash after running stop sign
Inn at the Forks to operate CMHR's restaurant
Sanders wants city decisions to consider environmental consequences
Police nab suspected vehicle thieves
Treaty material not mandatory, but can be integrated across K-12 curriculum: minister
Two people rescued, pet dies in Furby Street fire
Ndinawe youth centre to be get expanded hours
TV appearance big deal for women with Winnipeg ties
Man recovering from stab wounds
Winnipeggers still enjoying warm weather
Man fatally stabbed for staying too long at cousin's home
Appeal court reserves decision in Sinclair case
Boycott used to protest spending
Assiniboine Park Zoo gets thumbs-up
Candidate juggling too many balls
Union fans flame of Judy W-L's bid
Incoming U of W president promises new, collaborative approach
Norway House man found dead, 24-year-old arrested
Councillors back inquiry into missing, slain women
Identity of homicide victim confirmed
City stacked with police officers
Browaty contends park announcement on the up-and-up