Cody Allan Legebokoff said he was “involved” in the deaths of three women he is accused of murdering but did not carry out the actual killings.
Court heard Legebokoff’s claims Tuesday as he testified in his defence at the Prince George courthouse.
Rather, he said that a drug dealer and two other accomplices carried out the acts but refused to give their names, other than to call them X, Y and Z, for fear of retribution.
Legebokoff said he stands to receive a significant amount of time in a federal penitentiary for what he’s done and did not want to go there with the reputation as a “rat,” or someone who helps convict others, on three murder charges.
“It’s just not in the cards,” Legebokoff said.
Legebokoff stands charged with the murders of Jill Stacey Stuchenko, Cynthia Frances Maas and Natasha Lynn Montgomery – three women deeply involved in the city’s drug scene, according to earlier testimony – and the murder of 15-year old Loren Donn Leslie.
Even when warned by B.C. Supreme Court Justice Glen Parrett that he would be held in contempt of court if he did not provide the names, Legebokoff refused to co-operate and said he trusts the jury understands his choice.
The exchange came near the end of a day in which Legebokoff presented his account under questioning from defence lawyer Jim Heller.
His testimony began with a look back at his upbringing in Fort St. James, a town of 1,700 people.
Legebokoff described a childhood in which he got along with his parents and siblings; had a regular social life; played hockey; went hunting and fishing during summers; and worked in a sawmill that was started by his grandfather and his great-uncle. He also said he has a weak left arm caused by nerve damage when he was born, although that did not prevent him from playing sports because he is right-handed.
After graduating from high school, Legebokoff said he and a friend moved to Lethbridge, Alta., where he spent a year working odd jobs and frequenting the bar scene before moving back to Fort St. James because he was homesick.
After a few months, he joined some friends from his hometown in moving to a house in the 1500 block of Carney Street in Prince George. By late summer 2009 he was living in the basement suite of a home where parties large and small were held almost every weekend.
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It was at one of the larger parties where Legebokoff said he met X, whom he described as a drug dealer that introduced him to cocaine.
Legebokoff, who said he had consumed marijuana and psychedelic mushrooms in the past, found he liked the high and soon became a regular customer.
On the Saturday of the 2009 Thanksgiving long weekend, with his housemates away in Fort St. James, Legebokoff said he invited X over to the home for a party. That night, X showed up with five others in tow, including Stuchenko and Y, the court heard.
As they sat on a couch, love seat and futon, they began passing around powdered cocaine on a CD case, the court heard. Legebokoff said he noticed Stuchenko seemed kind of alone, moved over to sit next to her and chatted her up.
“She wasn’t an ugly person, or an ugly woman, so I figured I’d try my luck and sit next to her and start talking to her,” Legebokoff said.
They got closer and closer and “just started talking sexy towards one another,” Legebokoff said, and soon after that the two went into his bedroom where they had sex.
“It was just a mutual decision and I don’t know if she’d seen me as some future sugar daddy type deal,” Legebokoff said. “I did not know she was a prostitute at that time.”
Asked about the lacerations found on her anus, Legebokoff said he did not remember having anal sex with her.
“I was not out of it by any means; I certainly was intoxicated,” Legebokoff said.
Afterwards, they went back out to the basement living room where the party was continuing.