Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Convicted for grow-op

Carpenter duped by cold-blooded killer

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He only hoped to sell some unused tools.

But instead, a humble city carpenter saw his life take a terrifying turn after falling prey to a cold-blooded killer's persistent requests and threats to use his home for a marijuana grow operation.

"I don't even smoke marijuana, so it was quite a situation," Allan Hallson, 56, told Justice Gerald Chartier on Wednesday after pleading guilty to production of a controlled substance. "It will never happen again."

Hallson used the online classifieds service Kijiji in spring 2012 to advertise tools for sale. A prospective buyer for a mitre saw soon emerged.

It was none other than Corey Tymchyshyn, who at that time was on bail pending trial for the cold-blooded murder of Chad Davis on Feb. 6, 2008.

Tymchyshyn was convicted and handed a life prison sentence earlier this year for Davis's killing, which saw the 22-year-old beaten to death in Tymchyshyn's garage. His body was wrapped in plastic and placed in a rain barrel, which was recovered months later from a Manitoba lake.

After meeting Tymchyshyn, Hallson came to work for him at his home-renovations company.

Months later, Tymchyshyn started pestering Hallson to run the 80-plant grow-op out of his North End home and he capitulated, court heard.

Things turned sour when Hallson threw a party, disclosed to guests the existence of the illegal grow-op and Tymchyshyn found out about the party and Hallson's disclosure of it.

Tymchyshyn threatened Hallson with death, forced him out of his own home for a time and physically assaulted him, court heard.

It was Hallson's daughter who went to RCMP with concerns for the safety of her dad and herself.

She'd met with Tymchyshyn at a restaurant. He'd called her up to say Hallson was in trouble.

"He told me the last person that (expletive) up ended up in a barrel," she testified at Tymchyshyn's murder trial.

"Mr. Tymchyshyn made it clear he was serious," Crown attorney Anne Turner said Wednesday of the nature of Tymchyshyn's threats.

After a short undercover surveillance operation, Tymchyshyn was arrested and returned to remand custody on additional charges including extortion.

Hallson was hit with allegations relating to the grow-op. He was co-operative with police and testified at the murder trial.

"The whole thing just turned into a nightmare for him and his family," defence lawyer Amanda Sansregret said.

"He was in way over his head. Clearly Mr. Tymchyshyn saw someone with clear vulnerabilities," she added.

"It was the worst mistake of his life... that's the last time he's selling anything on Kijiji."

Hallson never made a dime off the grow-op, court heard.

Chartier approved a 12-month conditional sentence for Hallson, allowing him to steer clear of real jail.

In doing so, he noted the elements of duress in the case.

Tymchyshyn is currently appealing his first-degree murder conviction, as is co-accused Kristopher Brincheski.

james.turner@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition June 19, 2014 B3

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