The trial of Thomas Svekla on charges of killing two Edmonton prostitutes will not hear any evidence on behalf of the accused, his defence lawyer said Friday.

Svelka faces two counts of second-degree murder in the deaths of Theresa Innes, 36, in 2006 and Rachel Quinney, 19, in 2004.


Theresa Innes's body was found stuffed in a hockey bag in a Fort Saskatchewan home in May 2006. ((RCMP))

Since the trial began in an Edmonton courtroom Feb. 18, Crown prosecutor Ashley Finlayson has called more than 100 witnesses to testify.

But Friday afternoon, after the Crown wrapped up its case, defence lawyer Robert Shaggis stood and said,  "The defense calls no evidence." 

The news came one day after Justice Sterling Sanderman ruled he would allow testimony from three witnesses who told the court Svekla had choked and  threatened to kill women as far back as the mid 1980s.


Police found Rachel Quinney's body in a wooded area east of Edmonton in June 2004. ((Handout))

One woman testified Svekla attacked her, choked her and said he would bury her body where it would never be found.

The medical examiners were not able to establish a cause of death for either of the prostitutes Svekla is accused of killing, but they suggested it's possible both victims were choked.

The remains of Innes, 36, were found in May 2006, stuffed in a hockey bag discovered in a home in Fort Saskatchewan, just northeast of Edmonton.

The body of Quinney, 19, was found in a wooded area east of Sherwood Park, an Edmonton suburb, in June 2004.

The judge has given the Crown and defence two weeks to prepare their closing arguments in the case. Those summations will begin May 22.