Accused killer Thomas Svekla had a sexual relationship with one of his alleged victims, a woman who calls herself his friend testified Tuesday in Edmonton.
Svekla, who is charged with two counts of second-degree murder in the deaths of Theresa Innes, 36, and 19-year-old Rachel Quinney, has denied knowing either woman, both of whom worked in the sex trade and had drug problems.
But Tracy Bolton, who met Svekla, 39, in alcohol and drug rehab and stayed briefly at his apartment, told the Court of Queen's Bench Tuesday that she saw Svekla and Innes together on at least two occasions.
Innes's body was found in a hockey bag belonging to Svekla in 2006. Svekla has told the court he had been transporting the body from High Level to Fort Saskatchewan near Edmonton to give her a decent burial.
Bolton, a part-time cab driver in the northern Alberta community of High Level, said she once picked the pair up together.
"Theresa and Tom had gone in on some drugs together and they were going back to his place to smoke," she told the court.
Bolton said another time when she tried to visit Svekla, he wouldn't let her in because Innes was there. When she asked him if Innes was his girlfriend, he said the two had only a sexual relationship, Bolton said.
The defence suggested that Bolton, as a recovering crack addict, was not a very credible witness and that she was only saying some things to make Svekla look guilty.
Bolton erupted, "He is a dangerous man … and I know him. I consider him a friend."
She also called him "a creep," and said he had beaten her up on more than one occasion.
Landlord saw Innes at Svekla's apartment
Also Tuesday, Svekla's former High Level landlord, Jozef Lis, testified that he had seen Innes at the apartment building.
Lis and his wife lived across the hall from the apartment Svekla rented in 2005 and 2006. Lis testified that one day he was leaving his suite and spotted a woman standing at Svekla's door.
He said they didn't speak, and he only saw her from the side, but months later in a photo lineup he identified Innes as the woman he saw.
Lis also testified that after Svekla moved out, he and his wife had to clean blood stains from the carpet. The blood has not been connected to a specific person, the court has previously heard.
When the trial began on Feb. 19, Svekla pleaded not guilty in the deaths of Innes and Quinney, whose body was found in a field outside Edmonton. Svekla told the court he tripped over the body in a bush. He also pleaded not guilty to two charges of offering an indignity to a body.