Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 27/3/2015 (1668 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
A Winnipeg man has been found not guilty of a violent home invasion after a judge ruled evidence of the alleged victims was too dangerous to believe.
Michael Kolba flashed a huge grin following Friday’s verdict.
Two Winnipeg sisters testified last week how they met Kolba online, only to have him storm inside their residence while armed with a gun. They said he was angry after discovering one of them had a boyfriend.
Both identified Kolba as the culprit, while admitting they previously told much different versions about what happened. One of the sisters, who had briefly dated Kolba, admits writing a letter to his lawyer following his arrest and claiming she made the whole story up in an attempt to get him out on bail.
"I just wanted to brush it away and go on with my life," she explained.
Kolba’s lawyer pounced on her for the changing stories. The woman admits she also lied by claiming Kolba was the father of her young child.
Her younger sister told court she kept her eyes closed for much of the incident, fearing what might occur after Kolba suddenly stormed into their residence in the middle of the night. Kolba had called the house earlier that evening and spoken with a man who was dating her sister at the time.
He then showed up with the gun, demanding to see "The (expletive) goof that was on the phone," she testified.
The sister said she had no doubt Kolba was the person in her home, noting he has a massive tattoo on his face which is quite unique. This was a different version of the story given when she originally spoke to police and claimed she didn’t know anything about what had occurred.
"I got scared. I didn’t want to get involved. I had my eyes closed," she told court.
Queen’s Bench Justice Chris Martin said Friday there were several "red flags" surrounding the testimony of both sisters. Specifically, he questioned why their stories changed so much and how much value he could put on anything they now say.
"It would be dangerous, in my view, to convict him," said Martin.
Kolba had testified in his own defence, claiming he was actually in his own home asleep on the night of the incident. He told court his girlfriend was with him, yet the woman was never called to testify about the alibi.
Martin said Friday he had major concerns about Kolba’s story, noting he has several prior criminal convictions.
"Generally, he cannot be described as a trustworthy individual," said Martin. "I neither believe Mr. Kolba’s alibi evidence, nor does it raise a reasonable doubt."
Still, the judge said rejecting Kolba’s version of events doesn’t automatically mean he could accept what the two victims claim occurred. In the end, Martin essentially ruled it would be unsafe to believe anyone’s story.
Mike McIntyre grew up wanting to be a professional wrestler. But when that dream fizzled, he put all his brawn into becoming a professional writer.