It's an unprecedented case that will decide what happens to $100,000 and have a major effect on bail proceedings in Manitoba.
Justice officials want cash from a Winnipeg father who banked on his son's prospects of staying out of trouble, only to have that blow up in his face.
Crown and defence lawyers presented evidence and arguments Thursday, but left without a verdict. Queen's Bench Justice Sadie Bond has reserved her decision until later this year.
The basic facts are not in dispute. But how the law applies is.
In 2009, Dennis Tymchyshyn posted a $100,000 surety so a judge would allow his son, Corey Tymchyshyn, to be released on bail while awaiting trial for first-degree murder.
Corey Tymchyshyn was rearrested more than three years later and hit with several new charges, including assault, extortion and running a marijuana grow-op out of a city home.
'If you're going to allow him to have the rope, there's going to be risk' -- Crown attorney Keith Eyrikson
A surety is a form of financial promise to the court to keep the accused in line. Any breaches, and the Crown can declare a default. By law, the onus is on the provider of the surety to prove "exceptional circumstances" in which they shouldn't forfeit the money. Justice sources believe this is the largest surety ever litigated in Manitoba. The judge has the ability to order a portion of the money be defaulted.
The Crown argues Dennis Tymchyshyn failed in his duty to properly supervise his son in the community, delegated his responsibility to others, breached his contract with the court and should lose the money to show these orders "have teeth."
The defence claims Tymchyshyn tried his best, had no clue what his son was really doing and will be financially ruined if forced to forfeit the $100,000.
"Frankly, it's just outright unfair," defence lawyer Ryan Rolston argued Thursday.
He noted inmates in prison are often caught doing illegal things such as sneaking in drugs and contraband, committing serious assaults and even murder.
Why, Rolston asked, should the courts hold a citizen such as Dennis Tymchyshyn to an even higher standard?
"We can't expect our sureties to be police officers," said Rolston. "They're jailers in the community, yes. But they're not police officers."
Rolston said holding Tymchyshyn financially liable for his son's crimes would make it nearly impossible to find people willing to step forward as sureties in the future.
Crown attorney Keith Eyrikson argued the opposite will be true if Tymchyshyn gets a free pass.
Bail orders -- which many already believe aren't properly enforced -- will became even weaker in the eyes of the public if there are no consequences.
"If you're going to allow him to have the rope, there's going to be risk," he said. "You could have said 'Corey, I love you, but I can't risk my business, I can't risk $100,000.' "
Dennis Tymchyshyn was the only witness to testify Thursday, admitting he was living in Lac du Bonnet while his son was out on bail living with his mother 90 minutes away in Winnipeg Beach. He said he'd go days without seeing his son, but would speak to him regularly by phone. And he described his ex-wife as a crack addict who would often lie to him about their son.
The Crown says that's not good enough considering Corey Tymchyshyn got bail -- despite strong opposition from the Crown -- on the most serious charge in the Criminal Code.
"This was not a strict level of supervision," said Eyrikson.
Dennis Tymchyshyn was running his own construction company, which Corey worked for at the time. But it was while under the guise of being out on work sites that the man was involved in criminal activity, court was told.
"You were supposed to be Corey's watchdog in the community," Eyrikson said during cross-examination of the father.
Dennis Tymchyshyn admitted he wasn't aware his son had previously breached other bail orders when he agreed to act as a surety and put his livelihood at stake.
"I didn't know about most of that stuff. I knew he wasn't always in the right. He was usually in the wrong," the father said.
He also didn't recall reading the conditions required of him when signing the initial paperwork in 2009.
Corey Tymchyshyn was found guilty earlier this year of the killing of Chad Davis and is serving a life sentence with no chance of parole for at least 25 years. He has filed an appeal.
Davis, 22, went missing in February 2008. His body was found months later, wrapped in plastic and stuffed inside a barrel that was floating in the Lee River near Lac du Bonnet.
Dennis Tymchyshyn told court Thursday his business has suffered substantially as a result of publicity about his son's case.
He said he wants to change his name and move out of Manitoba.
His lawyer argued the court should be lenient on him because of the financial blow.