PRINCE GEORGE, B.C. — A young British Columbia man accused of killing three women and a 15-year-old girl says he was present when each of the victims died, but he told his trial that other people murdered the women and the girl killed herself.
Cody Legebokoff, 24, refused to name his alleged accomplices during his testimony on Tuesday, despite a warning that he could he held in contempt.
Legebokoff is charged with four counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of Jill Stuchenko, 35; Cynthia Maas, 35; Natasha Montgomery, 23; and Loren Leslie, 15.
WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT FOLLOWS THAT MAY DISTURB SOME READERS
He told the jury that a drug dealer and two other people murdered Stuchenko, Maas and Montgomery, while he said Leslie killed herself while the pair were alone together on a remote logging road.
Legebokoff referred to the alleged accomplices as X, Y and Z. When B.C. Supreme Court Judge Glen Parrett warned Legebokoff that he could he held in contempt of court if he did not provide the names, Legebokoff said he didn’t want to go to prison as a “rat.”
Legebokoff told the jury he knew his role in the killings was wrong and he knew he was destined for prison.
“But for what I’ve done, not for what the Crown thinks I’ve done,” he said.
Legebokoff grew up in Fort St. James, B.C., and spent a year working in Alberta after high school. He told the court he moved into a house in Prince George in 2009 with some friends from his hometown.
He said he met Stuchenko in the fall of that year at a drug-fuelled party he hosted, where he and Stuchenko had sex.
Legebokoff said X, who he frequently bought drugs from, announced that Stuchenko would be killed because she owed money. Legebokoff said X beat Stuchenko with a pipe, and then X and Y disposed of the body.
Stuchenko’s body was found on Oct. 20, 2009, partially buried in a gravel pit in Prince George.
By early summer 2010, Legebokoff had moved to another apartment in Prince George, where he said X visited him “quite a few times.” He said X showed up one night with Y and a woman named Cindy, later identified as Maas, and the group smoked crack cocaine.
He said at one point Maas was in the dining when he heard a “loud cracking noise followed by a thud.” When he looked to see what had happened, he said he saw tool or thin bar and Maas lying on her stomach.
Legebokoff said X left, and then and Y put Maas into the cab of Legebokoff’s pickup truck and drove to a forested park.
By that point, Legebokoff said Maas was still alive. He said he pulled a pickaroon from his truck and handed it to Y, who he said used it to strike Maas several times.
Police found Maas’ body on Oct. 9, 2010.
“I didn’t feel very good about what was going on or how I got myself into this mess,” Legebokoff said.
A few days later, Legebokoff said X, Z, and Montgomery, who he had never met before, dropped by to smoke crack
Legebokoff said Montgomery went into the washroom, at which point X told him “she was going to be dead.”
He said Z gave X a steel bar, which X used to hit Montgomery in the side of her face. Legebokoff said X then choked Montgomery, used a kitchen knife to cut her throat and then asked for a saw. Legebokoff said he handed over an axe.
“I never seen what they did with that,” Legebokoff said. “I chose not to look.”
Legebokoff said X and Y carried Montgomery’s body away while he cleaned up. He said X later told him Montgomery was killed because she owed a substantial amount of money.
Montgomery’s body has never been found.
Legebokoff was arrested in November 2010, when he was pulled over after speeding out of a remote logging road, where a conservation officer later found Leslie’s body.
The court has already heard that Legebokoff eventually told police that he and Leslie had consensual sex, after which she used a pipe wrench and a utility tool to hit herself and stab herself in the neck.
He repeated that story during his testimony, maintaining that Leslie went “flying off the handle” sometime after they had turned onto the logging road. He said she got out of the truck and injured herself before dropping to the ground.
Legebokoff, who had smoked crack earlier that day, said he got out of the truck and found Leslie lying on her stomach, still moving slightly. He said he picked up the wrench, which was on the ground nearby, and hit her in the head “a few times.”
“It was out of anger, frustration, panic,” Legebokoff said. “I didn’t know what to do, but that’s generally why that happened.”
Legebokoff said he then decided the “best thing to do was to pull her off the road and get the hell out of there.”