Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Focus turns to storage facility

Entry code was used on day victim vanished

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On the day Chad Davis was last seen alive, a unique security code allowing him entry into a facility where he stored personal effects was used in the mid-evening hours.

It was used Feb. 6, 2008, the same day RCMP and prosecutors say Davis, 22, was brutally killed after being lured to a Prince Rupert Avenue garage sometime after noon, his injured body put into a barrel and tossed in the Winnipeg River.

Corey Tymchyshyn, 37, and Kristopher Brincheski, 31, have pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder.

Prosecutors allege Davis, a city drug dealer, was killed over a cocaine debt Tymchyshyn owed him.

A jury is now mulling evidence relating to Davis's use of the storage locker, who actually rented it or had the key to its lock and how it ended up being emptied.

The Crown alleges many of the slain man's personal effects wound up in Brincheski's possession.

Tymchyshyn and Davis turned up at Dino's Storage on Orange Street for Davis to rent a 100-square-foot locker on Jan. 31, 2007, property manager Michael Goulet testified Friday.

However, the locker ended up rented in Tymchyshyn's name because Davis didn't have identification, he said.

Both men knew the unique five-digit passcode that would get them into the main doors of the facility, said Goulet.

All passcode entries are recorded and logged by computers at the business, court heard.

Goulet could not recall if the men purchased a padlock for the locker or brought one with them to use.

On the day Davis mysteriously -- witnesses have said uncharacteristically -- vanished, the passcode was used at 8:02 p.m.

An internal alarm was tripped, an indication the door had been propped open and couldn't close properly, said Goulet. The code was punched in again upon exit at 8:13 p.m. and then again a minute later, he said.

The code was again used at 11:25 a.m on Feb. 12. The very next day, a Winnipeg police officer turned up there. He was tasked with checking the locker for any clues about where Davis may have gone as part of a missing-persons probe.

Det. Sgt. William Degroot said Davis's dad, Stuart Davis, gave him the key to the locker. Stuart testified Chad gave the key to him in mid-January when he was moving residences.

After talking with Goulet, Degroot learned Chad did have a locker there, but was under Tymchyshyn's name.

He testified he used the key Stuart Davis gave him to open the locker's lock but found nothing of significance, "just furniture and household items," and left.

Goulet said security cameras in the facility recorded over past footage every seven days, meaning anything from a week prior was overwritten and lost.

In March, the hard drive the footage was retained on failed completely, he said.

Tymchyshyn turned up there again on Feb. 22, and Goulet said he called police to tell them he was emptying the locker.

"They told me, 'yes, it was OK,' " Goulet said.

Tymchyshyn was there with another man who was shorter and had a smaller build, Goulet said, adding that man might also have been wearing glasses.

Stuart Davis recalled a phone call with Tymchyshyn on March 1, 2008, in which Tymchyshyn denied Davis had a locker at Dino's.

"He was claiming it was his locker, not Chad's," Stuart said. "He said Chad did not have a locker at Dino's," he said.

Stuart Davis identified a number of items in court that RCMP seized after Chad's death was discovered on July 23, 2008.

They included TV sets, a DVD player and a remote control he gave to his son that he'd programmed himself.

james.turner@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition January 25, 2014 A13

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