CHAD Davis died a grim and undignified death, his body wrapped in a plastic tarp, stuffed into a barrel and dumped in a river near Lac du Bonnet.
This was made clear through police photos presented to a jury Monday, as Manitoba prosecutors began calling evidence they allege adds up to proof Davis, 22, was the victim of a cold-blooded and premeditated killing committed over a drug debt.
Kristopher Brincheski, 31, and Corey Tymchyshyn, 37, have pleaded not guilty and are presumed innocent of first-degree murder.
The men are accused of the most severe charge in Canadian criminal law and face the possibility of life sentences without a chance at parole for 25 years if convicted. No evidence was presented Monday directly linking either man to Davis's death.
RCMP and the Crown allege Davis was killed on Feb. 6, 2008, after being lured to a garage on Prince Rupert Avenue -- located at the home where Tymchyshyn then lived.
Around that time, Davis was staying at a hotel and was soon to leave Winnipeg to live with his girlfriend in Calgary to start a new chapter in their life together, Crown attorney Keith Eyrikson said in opening remarks to the six-man, six-woman jury.
Davis was killed because Tymchyshyn owed him an outstanding drug debt of $18,000 to $28,000, Eyrikson alleged.
"You will hear some evidence that Mr. Davis was no angel," said Eyrikson. "But whomever and whatever Chad Davis was, what occurred here was morally wrong and a criminal act," he said.
Davis was declared missing soon after he disappeared. His body was ultimately discovered many months later, on July 23, 2008, after a cottager on the Lee River fished a barrel with several holes in it out of the water.
Richard Marcotte testified he didn't think much of the barrel at first and simply rolled it onto the shore as far as he could. Two weeks passed before he and a friend went to empty the barrel and remove it, he said. After unsnapping the sealed lid, he said they began pulling out a tarp that was inside.
"Some fluids came out of it," said Marcotte. "It looked like white grease." After tugging the tarp some more, he said he could see a belt and some pants inside. He and the friend immediately called RCMP. Chad Davis had been found.
Forensic identification officer Cpl. Maria Forrester told court an autopsy was conducted on Davis's remains the next day at the Health Sciences Centre. He had been put in the 90-centimetre-tall plastic barrel fully clothed except for shoes and had a black extension cord around his neck, she said. Efforts to extract fingerprints from the barrel didn't work, she said. Forensic testing on it and the tarp used to wrap Davis would continue into May 2009, said Forrester.
The Crown intends to show the victim's blood was found in the garage where he was killed, and when RCMP came to investigate the crime scene, the interior had been ripped out and used at a renovation site in Anola, said Eyrikson.
As well, jurors will hear Tymchyshyn helped Davis rent a storage locker in the city -- and that there's evidence of him being at the facility on the day the killing occurred, and of both men clearing the locker out weeks after Davis vanished, the prosecutor said.