Legebokoff defence argues for second-degree murder charge

Cody Allan Legebokoff should be found guilty of second-degree murder, not first degree, in the deaths of three women and a teenage girl, defence lawyer Jim Heller is arguing this morning during a closing statement to the jury at the Prince George courthouse.

Heller said Legebokoff has admitted to involvement in all four murders but did not commit them in a planned and deliberate way nor were they committed during acts of sexual assault.

When he testified on his own behalf last week, Legebokoff said the killings of the three women — Jill Stacy Stuchenko, 35, Cynthia Frances Maas, 35, and Natasha Lynn Montgomery, 23 — were carried out by a drug dealer and two associates.

However, Heller noted Tuesday that Legebokoff admitted to handing them the murder weapons in all three cases.

Heller went through evidence indicating all three were drug users with Stuchenko and Montgomery carrying drug debts. Whether Maas was in debt was more questionable according to the evidence presented.

By the mid-morning break, Heller was going over evidence surrounding Loren Donn Leslie's mental health.

Legebokoff has said Leslie went crazy and began hitting herself with a pipe wrench and then appeared to have stabbed herself with a knife on the night her body was found Nov. 27, 2010 near a gravel pit north of Vanderhoof.

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