File photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS A woman holds a flower and a photo of Christine Wood during a vigil in Winnipeg.

‘I kind of just snapped:’ Murder suspect testifies woman came at him with knife

WINNIPEG — A man accused of killing an Indigenous woman in Manitoba after a night of drinking and sex told a jury Monday that she came at him with a knife and he blacked out.

But Crown prosecutors said he was lying in his testimony just like he lied to police.

Chantal Boutin asked Brett Overby, 32, why he could remember details of nearly every moment of the night he met up with 21-year-old Christine Wood, but could not recall the attack that left her lying in a pool of blood on his basement floor.

“(You have) no recollection of slitting her throat?” Boutin asked.

Overby has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder in Wood’s death but acknowledges he caused her death.

He testified Wood came at him with a knife but could not recall how he responded.

“I kind of just snapped,” Overby told court.

Wood had travelled to Winnipeg from Oxford House First Nation in northern Manitoba in the summer of 2016 when she was reported missing. Her body was found 10 months later in a ditch near a farmer’s field just outside the city.

The jury has heard that Wood was staying with her parents in a hotel. The family was in Winnipeg to support a relative who was having surgery.

Wood arranged to meet Overby through the popular dating website Plenty of Fish, and Overby testified that he picked Wood up from the hotel. They went out for a few drinks before going back to his house where they tried unsuccessfully to buy some drugs.

They had sex on his couch, Overby said, but as the night went on Wood began acting erratically and punched him in the face. She was also pressuring him to have sex without a condom, he said.

At one point, he testified, they were having sex again and she took a condom off him.

“Honestly, I felt like she kind of raped me,” Overby said as people audibly gasped in the courtroom.

Overby asked Wood down to the basement to show off the skeleton of a mouse that he had found, he said. He testified that’s when she came at him with the weapon and left a small scratch on his neck.

He said he doesn’t remember what happened next, but suddenly Wood was “face down in a pool of blood.”

Overby wrapped her body in plastic and tape, court heard. He also got rid of her phone and clothing, and used bleach to clean his basement.

Overby testified that he lied during a police interview about knowing Wood.

Boutin suggested that Overby was also lying about what happened. She said Wood probably refused to have sex with Overby, so he got angry and killed her.

“She didn’t want to have sex with you and that pissed you off,” Boutin said.

Overby denied that he killed Wood because he was angry.

So why didn’t he get her help when it was clear she was injured? Boutin asked. “You didn’t call police. You didn’t call 911, but what you did do is wrap up her body.”

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