One of the two men accused of killing Chad Davis in 2008 began testifying in their murder trial today, disputing his co-accused's claims that he killed the 22-year-old man.
Kristopher Brincheski and Corey Tymchyshyn are on trial in the death of Davis, whose body was found in a barrel floating down the Lee River near Lac du Bonnet, Man., in July 2008.
Davis had been reported missing nearly six months earlier after being last seen on Prince Rupert Avenue in Winnipeg's East Kildonan area.
Brincheski and Tymchyshyn are facing first-degree murder charges in Davis's death.
The court has already heard Davis was a cocaine dealer who was trying to collect a $10,000 debt from Tymchyshyn.
Earlier this week, Tymchyshyn testified that Brincheski had killed Davis on Feb. 6, 2008, by hitting him with a hammer during an altercation in the garage.
Tymchyshyn told the court that he walked into the garage and found Davis's body there, along with Brincheski crying.
Tymchyshyn said he helped Brincheski wrap Davis's body in plastic, put him in a barrel, drill holes in the barrel and throw the barrel off a bridge.
Brincheski said he found body
But Brincheski disputed Tymchyshyn's claim on Thursday, testifying that he walked into Tymchyshyn's garage and saw Davis's body on the floor.
According to Brincheski, he and Tymchyshyn had driven to a warehouse and then Tymchyshyn brought a barrel back to the car.
When they returned to the garage, Brincheski said he saw Davis lying on the floor with a pool of blood around his head.
According to Brincheski, Tymchyshyn told him he had to help get rid of Davis's body or else he would be killed too.
“He told me I needed to help him, and if I didn’t help him, I was as good as dead,” said Brincheski.
Brincheski said Tymchyshyn made repeated threats on his life and the lives of family members if he told anyone about what happened.
Brincheski cried during his testimony, saying a large man, holding a gun, once showed up on his driveway in the middle of the night, ordering him to "keep [his] story straight … and next time it wouldn't be a warning."
Brincheski said he went to the police, asking for protection for his family.
Closing statements in the case are expected next week.