Final arguments begin in Svekla trial
Final arguments began Thursday in the trial of an Alberta man accused of murdering two sex-trade workers.
Thomas Svekla, 40, is charged with two counts of second-degree murder in the deaths of Theresa Innes, 36, and 19-year-old Rachel Quinney.
"The crux of the Crown's case essentially relates to possession of the body of Theresa Innes — the transportation of that elaborately wrapped body from High Level to Fort Saskatchewan," Crown Prosecutor Ashley Finlayson told the court.
Innes's naked corpse was found in May 2006, tightly wrapped and stuffed into a hockey bag belonging to Svekla.
According to court documents released after Svekla's preliminary hearing, he told RCMP he did not kill the young woman but was transporting her body from High Level, in northern Alberta, to Edmonton to give her a decent burial.
Finlayson urged the judge to reject any explanations Svekla gave police about why he was in possession of the body, calling them self-serving lies.
The Crown alleges Svekla killed Innes, wrapped her body and hid it for four months — perhaps in a freezer — before ultimately moving it to his family's home outside Edmonton.
Quinney's body was found in a field outside Edmonton in 2004. Svekla has said he found the body in a remote, forested area and reported it to police.
Svekla's lawyer was expected to deliver his final argument Friday.
The Crown called more than 100 witnesses over the course of the three-month trial. Svekla's lawyer did not present any evidence for the defence.
When the trial began Feb. 19, Svekla pleaded not guilty in the deaths of Innes and Quinney. He also pleaded not guilty to two charges of offering an indignity to a body.
With files from the Canadian Press