The jury that will determine Cody Legebokoff’s fate has heard his voice for the first time, through an audio recording of his arrest in which he angrily says he “did not murder anybody” and pleads to speak with his father.
Mr. Legebokoff, who is charged with first-degree murder in the deaths of four women, had been seen but not heard during the first week of his B.C. Supreme Court trial in Prince George. He has sat mostly expressionless.
But a picture of the 24-year-old has slowly started to form. And Wednesday, the jury saw photographs of Mr. Legebokoff from the night of his November, 2010 arrest and heard him speak. With his full head of blonde hair and heavier build, he showed little resemblance to the man who has appeared in court with a shaved head, goatee, and in an oversized suit that has made it appear as though he has lost weight.
In the audio recording, Mr. Legebokoff at times shows frustration, at other points anger. He asks for his father several times.
“When do I get to call my dad? I didn’t do this,” he says to an officer.
At another point, while sitting in a police vehicle, he says angrily that he didn’t know why he was there.
Mr. Legebokoff tells police he just happened to come across the body of 15-year-old Loren Leslie, for whose death he’s been taken into custody. The Crown has said Mr. Legebokoff initially denied knowing Ms. Leslie, and then later said he did know her but that she had inflicted the injuries on herself. The Crown has said she could not possibly have injured herself to such a degree.
The trial has heard references to Mr. Legebokoff’s rural upbringing in the northern B.C. community of Fort St. James. The Crown has said Mr. Legebokoff met Ms. Leslie through a social networking website in which he used the nickname 1CountryBoy. The police officer who arrested Mr. Legebokoff told the court that when he spotted blood on the young man, Mr. Legebokoff claimed he’d been deer poaching and said, “I’m a redneck, that’s what we do for fun.”
The Crown has said Mr. Legebokoff used cocaine and sought out sex workers to get it for him. It has also said three of the women he’s charged with killing sold sexual services at some point.
The RCMP officer who first arrested Mr. Legebokoff has told the court two crack pipes were found in his vehicle, though Mr. Legebokoff denied they were his.
The Crown has not released a motive in the killings.
Mr. Legebokoff has pleaded not guilty. He was first charged with murder in Ms. Leslie’s death and the Crown has said DNA later linked him to the deaths of three other women – Jill Stuchenko, Cynthia Maas, and Natasha Montgomery.
The court heard from two witnesses Wednesday, both police officers involved in Mr. Legebokoff’s arrest.
Constable Aaron Kehler – who has told the court he grew suspicious after seeing Mr. Legebokoff’s black pickup truck on a remote logging road and noticed blood on Mr. Legebokoff’s chin once he had pulled him over – said he lost his cool after one of Mr. Legebokoff’s denials.
Constable Kehler, upon hearing Mr. Legebokoff claim he did not kill Ms. Leslie, said he used an expletive as he shot back, asking him who else could have.
Constable Kehler showed the court several items that were seized the night of Mr. Legebokoff’s arrest, including his shoes, which the police officer said had blood on them. Constable Kehler also held up a pipe wrench and a utility tool that he said were also splashed with blood.
The defence chose not to ask Constable Kehler any questions and has not formally laid out its case or strategy.