Prince George Free Press
A 14-member jury is set to decide the fate of Cody Alan Legebokoff, charged with four counts of first-degree murder.
The Fort St. James man, who had been living in Prince George when he was arrested in 2010, is charged with the murders 35-year-old Jill Stacey Stuchenko, 35-year-old Cynthia Frances Maas, 23-year-old Natasha Lynn Montgomery and 15-year-old Loren Donn Leslie. Montgomery’s body was never found.
His trial got underway Monday morning before Justice Glenn Parrett. Legebokoff appeared wearing a suit and tie. He has shaved his head and is now sporting a small goatee.
Stuchenko was reported missing October 22, 2009 and her body was found in a gravel pit off Otway Road October 26, 2009.
Mass was reported missing by friends September 23, 2010. Her body was found Oct. 9, 2010 in L.C. Gunn Park.
Montgomery, who had recently been released from the Prince George Regional Correctional Centre, was last seen Aug. 31, 2010 and reported missing September 23. Her body has not been found.
Leslie’s body was discovered November 27, 2010 in the bush a short distance off the highway between Fort St. James and Vanderhoof.
Crown prosecutor Joseph Temple, in his opening statement, said autopsies on Stuchenko, Maas, and Leslie showed each of the three had been severely beaten.
“(Stuchenko) had received multiple blows to the back of her head and face,” he said. “She suffered multiple cerebral contusions.”
Both Leslie and Maas were discovered with their pants pulled down to their ankles, Temple said.
Maas died of “blunt force trauma to the head and penetrating wounds to the chest,” that were not from a bullet or knife, Temple said. Leslie died of blood loss and brain injury. Temple added she had received “powerful” blows to the head that fractured both jaws.
While Montgomery’s body has not been found, Temple said evidence will be presented at the trial outlining 32 instances of her DNA being found in Legebokoff’s apartment and on his clothing. DNA evidence will also link Legebokoff and Maas, Temple said.
Legebokoff was arrested November 27, 2010 when he was pulled over by police between Vanderhoof and Fort St. James, shortly after one of the officers saw a truck pull onto the highway from a logging road.
Temple said when the RCMP officers pulled him over, they noticed blood on Legebokoff. When he told police he was poaching deer, the RCMP called in Conservation Officers who searched the side road Legebokoff had been seen pulling out of by RCMP. It was there they found Leslie’s body and Legebokoff was charged with murder that night.
Temple said Legebokoff initially denied having known Leslie.
In several interviews he had with police following his arrest, Legebokoff ‘s story changed, said Temple.
Legebokoff said he discovered her body in the bush by the logging road, panicked and left, taking some her personal items with him because he had touched them. In a subsequent interview, he said he was with her but that she “went psycho” and killed herself, Temple said. And, in yet another interview, told police that Leslie had tried to kill herself and he had hit her twice “to put her out of her misery.”
Legebokoff and Leslie had met on the social media site Nexopia in early November, Temple said, and had been exchanging text messages up to November 26.
The trial is expected to last six to eight months.