Accused the aggressor in Wolseley homicide: Crown

Brenda Schuff beat and stabbed neighbour Judy Kenny to death after she rebuffed Schuff's sexual overtures, the Crown alleged Wednesday, as it concluded its cross-examination of the accused.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 19/06/2019 (1446 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Brenda Schuff beat and stabbed neighbour Judy Kenny to death after she rebuffed Schuff’s sexual overtures, the Crown alleged Wednesday, as it concluded its cross-examination of the accused.

“I’m going to suggest… you made a sexual advance to Judy Kenny,” prosecutor Debbie Buors said, noting Winnipeg police found Kenny’s body topless, with her tights on backwards.

Schuff, 46, is charged with second-degree murder in the April 10, 2017, slaying. She has pleaded not guilty.

Brenda Schuff is charged with second-degree murder.

Kenny, 54, was found dead in the kitchen of her Camden Place home, suffering multiple stab wounds to her face and body, a kitchen knife protruding from her eye socket.

Schuff does not deny killing Kenny, but claimed she was acting in self defence. Schuff broke down in tears several times during her testimony, remaining steadfast that Kenny was the aggressor.

On Tuesday, Schuff told jurors she had helped Kenny — who she had just met that night — search for a missing dog, before joining Kenny at her house for a drink sometime after midnight.

Schuff testified Kenny became aggressive after she said she was going home and, during a struggle, brandished a knife. Schuff said she feared for her life and punched Kenny two or three times in the head before everything “flickered and got dark.”

She said the next thing she could remember was standing in her own kitchen, two houses over in the Wolseley neighbourhood, with her common-law husband.

On Wednesday, the Crown called her story into question.

“I’m going to suggest you remember everything that happened between you and Judy Kenny… and that it’s just convenient for you to say you have no recollection about what happened,” Buors said.

“No, it’s not convenient at all,” Schuff replied.

Buors alleged Schuff removed Kenny’s pants, which Kenny managed to put back on, but backwards.

“Absolutely not,” Schuff said.

A shirt was found near Kenny’s body with her blood on its collar. Buors said the location of the blood stain was consistent with having come from an injury to the right side of Kenny’s face.

Judy Kenny: slain on April 10, 2017

“I’m going to suggest that when this blood was deposited on Judy Kenny’s shirt, she was wearing it,” Buors said. “It was after you cut Ms. Kenny that the blood was deposited on the shirt in that location.”

“I don’t recall,” Schuff replied.

Schuff testified she cried for help while fending Kenny off, but Buors argued any cries more likely came from Kenny, and were directed at an exchange student staying in her basement.

Schuff testified her struggle with Kenny started in the kitchen, with Kenny briefly pushing her into the dining room.

Buors argued the fight started in the dining room, where police found blood, broken glass and overturned chairs, and ended in the kitchen, after Kenny wound up on the floor.

“I’m going to suggest it was at that point, you had the knife in your hand, you leaned over her body and stabbed her multiple times,” the Crown attorney said. “I’m going to suggest that you only stopped because the knife wouldn’t come out of her body anymore.”

“I don’t recall,” Schuff said.

Court has heard Kenny had a blood alcohol level four times the legal limit for driving when she died.

On Wednesday, Schuff said Kenny “seemed to have had a drink or two” when they first met. After talking with her for a time at her house, Kenny “sounded like she was a little more intoxicated than I thought… The more I talked to her, the more I could hear it.”

Given Kenny’s level of intoxication, Schuff had ample opportunity to escape, Buors said. “You made no effort to get out of there.”

Earlier in the trial, Schuff’s husband, Robert Atkins, testified Schuff shook him awake after the slaying and appeared in shock. He said when he questioned her, she was unresponsive.

“It’s not because you were in shock,” Buors said Wednesday. “I’m going to suggest it was because you were thinking of what you were going to do. You were trying to formulate a plan.”

“I disagree,” Schuff said.

Court was told when Schuff saw a police cruiser pull up at Kenny’s house, she went outside, approached an officer, and said: “I’m the one you are going to want to talk to about this.”

“The only reason you finally went out of the house to the police officers is because you knew Rob wasn’t going to cover for you, and that you are going to be found with blood on you and injuries — and you thought you might as well confront it,” Buors said.

“I don’t recall,” Schuff replied.

Lawyers for the Crown and defence are set to make their closing arguments before the jury Monday.

Dean Pritchard

Dean Pritchard
Courts reporter

Someone once said a journalist is just a reporter in a good suit. Dean Pritchard doesn’t own a good suit. But he knows a good lawsuit.

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