A Winnipeg man has been sentenced to 18 months in jail after admitting to removing the body of a man killed in his drug-den home and dumping it in the Red River.
Colin Andrew Leiterman, 40, was originally charged with being an accessory to the October 2020 murder of 29-year-old Mohamed Mohiadin Ahmed, but pleaded guilty this week to the lesser offence of interfering with human remains.
"It’s not lost on him that he could have found himself charged with a homicide as a result of the choices he made," Leiterman’s lawyer Jeremy Kostiuk told Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Brenda Keyser. "He was, and remains, afraid of the people who did this and that fear was a significant (factor) why he did what he did with Mr. Ahmed’s body," Kostiuk said.
Leiterman was a meth user, as was Ahmed, who in the month or two prior to his death had visited Leiterman’s Royse Avenue home several times to use drugs, Crown attorney Erika Dolcetti told court.
Court was told Leiterman, Ahmed and a number of roommates were sitting in the living room when two masked men, one armed with a sawed-off shotgun, broke into the house and started assaulting Ahmed, calling him a "pedophile" and "rat."
Leiterman and his roommates retreated to their bedrooms as the two invaders continued their attack on Ahmed as he screamed and begged for his life. When it was over, Leiterman found Ahmed in the bathtub, alive, but seriously injured, his bloody body covered with a tarp and towels.
Leiterman left the house and didn’t return until the next morning.
"The victim is still in the bathtub, now quite certainly deceased, and the body is starting to smell," Dolcetti said. "(Leiterman) says that is the reason why he decided to get rid of the body and push it into the river."
Early the next morning, Leiterman wrapped Ahmed’s body in a blanket, covered it with a tarp and drove a stolen car to Kingston Row where he found a boat launch and pushed a wagon carrying the body into the Red River. The body was later discovered floating on the river near Churchill High School.
Police arrested Leiterman after security video in the area identified him as a suspect.
Kostiuk said Leiteramn is hoping to use his time in jail, and the six months of supervised probation Keyser ultimately ordered that he serve, to straighten out his life.
"I hope you will take the opportunity to change your life… you have to be in a very dark place to think that what you did seemed like a reasonable thing to do, as opposed to calling police," Keyser said.
Leiterman received credit for time served, reducing his jail sentence to just over six months.
Police have charged Evan Daniel Brightnose-Barker, 21, and Jesse James Daher, 28, with second-degree murder in Ahmed’s killing. They remain in custody.
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.