A 74-year-old Alberta woman accused of killing her husband confessed the crime to her grandson shortly afterward, a jury in Edmonton was told Wednesday.
"'I did it'," Brian Semenovich recounted his grandmother, Anne Semenovich, telling him in the early hours of April 15, 2008. "'I shot grandpa.'"
He was giving testimony on the third day of his grandmother's trial in Court of Queen's Bench. Semenovich is charged with first-degree murder in the slaying of her husband, Alex. She is also charged with interfering with human remains.
The Crown alleges she dumped her husband's body in an incinerator on their property.
Brian Semenovich, 25, was living at his grandparents' rural home in Spruce Grove, west of Edmonton, the day Alex Semenovich died.
When he got up at 5 a.m. to use the washroom, he found his grandmother sitting fully clothed on the end of her bed, slowly rocking back and forth.
Grandfather shot in the temple
"Why are you up so early?" he asked.
Brian Semenovich said he reacted with disbelief when his grandmother confessed shooting his grandfather.
"How did you do it?" Brian Semenovich said he asked. "His door was locked."
"I shot him through the window," she reportedly replied.
Brian Semenovich checked the gun, which had a spent shell casing in the chamber. He then went outside to peer into the window of his grandfather's bedroom.
He saw Alex Semenovich lying on his back on top of the bed with his head turned to the side on a blood-soaked pillow.
"He'd been shot in the side of the head. Right in the temple area," Brian Semenovich testified. "He was dead."
Semenovich said he didn't know what to do next. He said he stood outside on the porch for the next couple of hours, trying to decide if he should call RCMP. He thought his grandmother had "flipped" and had "gone crazy."
He called his mother Laurie and asked her to come to the house.
"My worst fears have come true," he told his mother. "She blasted him."
Laurie Semenovich showed up at the house a half hour later and spoke to her mother for about an hour. She then got in her car and drove away without saying anything, said Brian Semenovich.
Man's body dragged to incinerator
The next day, his mother kept calling him on his cellphone, asking him to come help. Semenovich told the jury he kept hanging up on her. Finally, his mother and grandmother showed up at his workplace begging him to help.
He broke down and "reluctantly" joined them in order to "shut them up."
When he arrived at the house, his grandfather's body was just inside the front door, wrapped in a blanket, A garbage bag was on his head and a yellow rope was wrapped around his ankles. There was a trail of blood leading from his bedroom to the front door.
Brian Semenovich told the jury he and his mother each grabbed a corner of the blanket and dragged the body out to the incinerator and hoisted it inside. Afterwards, he had a glass of vodka and then used bleach to clean up blood stains on the floor.
Thirteen days later, Semenovich said he was contacted by the RCMP. He told the jury he didn't say anything to officers at first, but then stated: "You're here because my grandfather is in the incinerator."
Semenovich and his mother are both facing charges of being an accessory to a crime after the fact and interfering with human remains.
On Tuesday, Semenovich told the jury his grandfather threatened to kill his grandmother nearly every day. He said he saw his grandfather chase his grandmother with a large kitchen knife and swing a baseball bat at her.
He testified he gave his grandmother a shotgun in January 2008 and showed her how to use it in case she needed to protect herself from her husband.