Weeks after giving a statement to RCMP homicide detectives implicating his own brother in a grisly homicide, Alex Brincheski sent a letter to a lawyer aimed at recanting what he'd said and wanting to set the record straight.
But that letter and his comments to police in relation to the 2008 death of Chad Davis, 22, have instead come back to haunt the 25-year-old, who was called by prosecutors Monday to testify against his kin.
Alex Brincheski confirmed it's true he told RCMP several things suggesting his older brother, Kristopher, had intimate knowledge of Davis being killed in a sneak attack inside a garage and his body put in a barrel.
But, Brincheski testified, what he told police was only meant to relay to them that's what Kristopher had said to him -- not that Kristopher had direct knowledge of Davis's death.
Prosecutors allege Kristopher Brincheski, 31, and Corey Tymchyshyn, 37, killed Davis on Feb. 6, 2008 inside a garage at 703 Prince Rupert St. Davis's remains weren't found until months later, inside a plastic barrel found floating on the Lee River outside Lac du Bonnet.
The men have pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder.
Alex Brincheski told court his brother appeared "really panicked" after learning on Sept. 4, 2008, RCMP were to search the Beeston Drive home where they then lived.
Court has heard several items identified as belonging to Davis were found there.
They went in Kristopher's truck to remove a few things, including a large TV set, Brincheski said.
"He said that he had to get rid of Chad's stuff out of the house," Brincheski said. "I didn't want to help him move somebody's stuff that was stolen -- become an accomplice," he said.
The next day, he and his girlfriend found themselves approached by RCMP and took part in interviews at D Division headquarters on Portage Avenue.
It was there Brincheski told police of a recent conversation he'd had, where Kristopher indicated he'd been in the garage at the time of Davis's death, jurors heard.
Brincheski backed away from this in court. "I don't actually remember him telling me he was there," Alex said. "It was nearing the end of my statement and I wanted to leave." He later confirmed to Crown attorney Keith Eyrikson this was the single thing in his statement he had lied about.
The many qualifications of his answers in court put the Crown in the unusual position of cross-examining its own witness.
Eyrikson confronted Alex with line after line of his incriminating police statement to try and get to the bottom of why he told them what he did.
Alex agreed he left RCMP officers with the impression his brother had direct knowledge of the killing, not just what he'd gleaned from other sources. He also agreed he could have, at the time, cleared this distinction with police but didn't.
In one example: Alex said Kristopher disclosed Davis was "led" into the garage on Prince Rupert. "Somebody just snuck up on him … just beat the crap out of him," Alex told police of what he'd been told.
"Did Kris tell you, 'This is what I know?,'" asked Eyrikson. "I never asked him," Alex replied.
"Don't you think it would have been more helpful to say, 'You know what — I don't know where he got this stuff from?," asked Eyrikson.
"You didn't know what else to do but tell the police the truth that day," the prosecutor suggested. "Yeah," agreed Alex, who also conceded it was a "great weight" off his shoulders to speak up to police about what his brother told him.
He also agreed with Eyrikson the letter he wrote to defence lawyer Gerri Wiebe recanting his police statement didn't say he'd lied to investigators in his statement.
He returns to the witness stand today.