Prosecutor suggests spurned sexual advances behind killing of Wolseley woman
Crown's accusations made during cross-examination of Brenda Schuff
A Winnipeg woman stabbed to death in her Wolseley home died after refusing the sexual advances of the woman accused in her killing, Crown attorneys said Wednesday.
Crown prosecutor Debbie Buors made the allegations while cross examining Brenda Schuff in a Winnipeg courtroom.
Schuff, 46, was charged with second-degree murder after Kenny, 54, was found dead in the kitchen of her Camden Place home in the early hours of April 10, 2017.
On Tuesday Schuff testified in her own defence, telling the Court of Queen's Bench jury trial Kenny attacked her while holding a knife.
Schuff told the court Tuesday that Kenny had invited her into her home for a drink after Schuff went outside to help her neighbour from two doors down look for a lost dog. She said she'd been watching TV when she heard someone calling for a dog and decided to go out and help.
She testified she didn't know who Kenny was before that meeting.
She says the two looked around the neighbourhood for a few minutes before returning to Kenny's house to report the dog missing to 311 and have a drink.
After visiting for about an hour and a half, Schuff said Kenny got angry at her when she went to use her upstairs bathroom.
"I was up there, and I can hear her, 'What are you doing, what are you doing? What's taking so long?'" Schuff told court Tuesday.
Court heard Wednesday the pair continued to talk until Schuff went to the washroom a second time, about a half hour later. Schuff testified she again heard Kenny yelling from downstairs.
When she came back down stairs the final time she said she told Kenny she was going to go home, but Kenny insisted that she stay.
That's when Schuff says Kenny became unhinged and violent.
"I put my hand on her shoulder, and I told her, I'm leaving, and she turned, and put her hand on my hand and said, 'You're not going anywhere,'" she told the jury Tuesday.
"I thought she was joking, and I said, 'What are you talking about?'"
Under cross examination Wednesday, Schuff reiterated what she'd testified Tuesday — Kenny came toward her, she said, making a chomping motion with her teeth.
Schuff says the two struggled and she remembers punching Kenny, but her memories of what happened next are blank. She told the court she doesn't remember stabbing Kenny.
The next thing she remembers, she says, is standing in her kitchen with her husband.
Crown alleges sexual advances made
During her nearly 2½-hour cross examination Wednesday, Buors dissected Schuff's memory of what happened before she says "everything flickered and went dark."
She questioned why Schuff hadn't attempt to flee Kenny's home if she felt her life was threatened, and accused her of pretending to not remember what happened through her line of questioning.
"I'm going to suggest that it's just convenient for you to say you have no recollection of what happened between you and Judy," Buors said.
"I'm going to suggest that you have this loss of memory because you can't explain the numerous injuries to Judy Kenny, (while) you have none."
"You weren't defending yourself, ma'am, you were attacking Judy."
'You weren't defending yourself, ma'am, you were attacking Judy.- Crown prosecutor Debbie Buors
Through tears, Schuff denied the accusation.
"I was doing the best I could to defend myself." she said.
Buors went on, asking Schuff if she had actually been going through Kenny's belongings in her bedroom while she says she was upstairs using the washroom. Schuff said she hadn't been.
Buors finished her cross-examination with a string of questions accusing Schuff of attacking Kenny after making a sexual advance toward the woman.
Kenny was found topless and her pants, a pair of black tights, were on backwards when police found her body.
Those two facts were the only evidence Buors used to support her line of questioning.
"I'm going to suggest at some point you pushed Judy Kenny and she fell to the ground," Buors told the court.
"I'm going to suggest to you it was at that point, when you had the knife in your hand, you leaned over her body and stabbed her multiple times.
"And I'm going to suggest to you that you only stopped because the knife would not come out of her body anymore."
Schuff denied the Crown's suggestion she had tried to make sexual advances and continued to say she had no memory of what happened when Buors frequently stopped to ask if she agreed or disagreed with her allegations.
"I don't recall," Schuff kept telling the court.
Closing arguments in the case are scheduled for Monday.
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With files from Sarah Petz