Victims beaten, burned, left to die in Island murders

Killer was angry that disabled homeless man took his truck

The following story contains details some readers might find upsetting. Reader discretion is advised.

Darcy Kozak confined and tortured Kenneth Robinson, a disabled, homeless Nanaimo man, in his trailer for two days in May of 2007, before leaving him mangled but still breathing under a tarp near Shawnigan Lake.

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That gruesome fact was revealed in B.C. Supreme Court for the first time Monday, at Kozak's sentencing hearing for the murders of Robinson and Kenneth Leask and the manslaughter death of Luc Dulude.

Prosecutor David Fitzsimmons is asking Justice James Williams to impose a life sentence with no possibility of parole for 25 years. Defence lawyer Jim Heller will make his submissions this morning.

On Monday, Fitzsimmons read an 11-page statement of agreed-upon facts into the court record, revealing the details of what happened to all three men.

The court heard that Robinson, 45, lived on the streets, panhandling and reading tarot cards.

Nicknamed "Hippie," Robinson met Kozak sometime in 2007, and read Kozak's tarot cards. In return, Kozak gave him jewelry, including his gold ring.

Kozak invited Robinson to a party in his trailer, and they drove to Shawnigan Lake. While they were at the party, Kozak went off with his girlfriend Janice Bridges, a wealthy Campbell River widow.

Robinson stole some things in Kozak's trailer and left the party in Kozak's truck. Kozak was angry about his missing truck and told people he would harm Robinson, the court heard.

On May 11, Kozak found Robinson in Nanaimo and with the help of two women friends, lured him into the trailer. For the next two days, Kozak tortured Robinson, wrapping wire around his wrists and ankles, stringing him up, beating him over the head with his walking stick and burning him with a lighter. There was blood all over the trailer.

Court heard that Kozak drove to Shawnigan Lake with Robinson tied up in the trailer. On the way, he stopped at Nanaimo airport, called a friend and asked if he "wanted to hear Hippie on fire." Then he burned Robinson.

When Kozak arrived at Shawnigan Lake, his friend told him "to get the freak show out of his driveway."

But Kozak said he wasn't leaving until his friend looked at Robinson.

Robinson was lying on the floor, groaning. Kozak kicked him in the head, the friend told police. One witness told police Robinson was so mangled, he didn't look human.

Kozak dropped a severely mutilated Robinson down a bank at Kapoor Hill, about 17 kilometres from Shawnigan Lake, and left him to die. His skeleton was found on Aug. 9, 2007.

Kozak met Luc Dulude, 40, in prison in 2008 and invited him to stay at a beach house belonging to Bridges, which had an old bakery used for storage.

Dulude agreed and moved to Campbell River. But Kozak started to believe Dulude was ripping Bridges off, said Fitzsimmons.

The court heard that Kozak and his friend Robert Cook planned for a week to kill Dulude. In early October, they were in a garage on the property when Dulude suddenly arrived.

Cook shot Dulude in the abdomen and he and Kozak wrapped Dulude in plastic while he was still alive.

They put Dulude in a metal pickup truck box, but before they could dispose of his body, they saw Leask and went after him.

Later, they dropped Dulude's body off at the bakery. Rumours began to spread about Dulude's killing. A bad odour at the old bakery was getting worse. In December 2008, the RCMP executed a search warrant and found Dulude's remains. Kozak fled Campbell River.

Kenneth Leask, 44, of Powell River, was in custody with Kozak at Vancouver Island Regional Correctional Centre in 2008. They made plans to start a marijuana grow-op, said Fitzsimmons. Kozak gave Leask $5,000 for the business, but Leask spent the money on something else.

When Kozak spotted Leask near Bridges' property while driving the truck with Dulude in the back, he and Cook went after him, knocking Leask unconscious. The two men took Leask to the garage on the property, strung him upside down and beat him with a hammer and a pry bar.

At one point, they asked Leask to leave. He made it to the end of the driveway, but fell down because his ankles were broken, said Fitzsimmons.

A car pulled over and a couple offered Leask assistance, but Kozak and Cook came out of the garage and said their friend was drunk and they'd look after him.

After beating him for a further two days, they put a plastic bag over his head "to put him out of his misery."

ldickson@timescolonist.com

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