British Columbia

Cody Legebokoff admits being present at deaths of women

Cody Legebokoff has told a B.C. Supreme Court jury he was present at the deaths of all four women he is accused of killing, but says other unnamed men killed three of the victims.

Accused killer claims others killed Jill Stuchenko, Cynthia Maas and Natasha Montgomery

Cody Legebokoff is on trial in Prince George, B.C., accused of murdering four women. (CBC)

A B.C. man charged with murdering four women says he was present at the deaths of all the women he is accused of killing.

Cody Legebokoff told a B.C. Supreme Court jury in Prince George Tuesday that he was with Loren Leslie, 15, when she died. He testified to hitting her, but claimed he did so only after she injured herself.

He told the jury other, unnamed men killed Jill Stacey Stuchenko, 35, Cynthia Frances Maas, 35 and Natasha Lynn Montgomery, 23. 

"At that time, I didn't expect to be what I actually did was murder," Legebokoff testified.

"But now, sitting here charged with it, I don't feel very good about it."

Charged with 1st-degree murder

Legebokoff is charged with first-degree murder in the deaths of Stuchenko, Maas, Leslie and Montgomery. The women died in 2009 and 2010.

Legebokoff identified the other men only as X and Y and Z. He said he wouldn't name them because he didn't want to be labelled a "rat" if he was sent to prison.

The 24-year-old told the jury he had sex with Stuchenko at his apartment. He claimed X told him she had to die and hit her with a pipe. He said X also ordered Montgomery's death. He testified that Z pulled out a weapon and X then killed her.

Cody Legebokoff's DNA was found on at least three of the four homicide victims (RCMP)

Legebokoff described watching X strike Maas in his apartment. He told the jury X hit her in the head with an "object," knocking her out. He claims he and Y then put Maas into his truck and drove her to a park.

"He opened the door and he pulled her out. She just fell to the ground," Legebokoff said.

"That was when he had said she was still alive."

Legebokoff claimed he then pulled a pickaroon from his truck and handed the spiked, log-handling tool to Y. He told the jury he heard Y hit her three or four times.

"I didn't feel very good about what was going on, or how I got myself into this mess."

Body found in park

Maas's body was found in a park on the outskirts of Prince George, naked from the waist down. Earlier in the trial, Crown counsel Joseph Temple told the jurors both she and Stuchenko suffered blunt force trauma to their heads as well as other wounds.

Montgomery's body was never found. However, Temple said several items, including shirts, shorts, bedsheets, a comforter and an axe found in Legebokoff`s apartment tested positive for her DNA.

All three older women were known to have worked in the sex trade.

Temple told the jury Legebokoff met Leslie in November 2010 after exchanging text messages and social media conversations on Nexopia and arranging to buy alcohol. Legebokoff told the jury Tuesday the two had sex and that Leslie then picked up a pipe from his truck and started striking herself.

He claimed she got out of his truck and then injured herself with a knife. Legebokoff said he then hit her several times over the head. 

Leslie's body was found partially buried near a gravel pit off a bush road near Vanderhoof, B.C.

The trial is expected to last six to eight months.

With files from Wil Fundal