The man accused of murdering a young Indigenous woman testified Monday he didn’t mean to cause her death.
Brett Ronald Overby took the stand in a Manitoba courtroom where he is being tried for the second-degree murder of Christine Wood, 21, in August of 2016.
Overby’s lawyer, Sarah Inness, told the courtroom that while Overby admitted to causing Christine Wood’s death, “he didn’t mean to.”
As Overby took the stand, his lawyer started with one simple question “Are you responsible for killing Christine Wood?”
Overby responded with just one word: “Yes.”
The 32-year-old said the two had spoken through an online dating app for a few days. On Aug. 19, 2016 they met in person for the first time.
Wood and her parents had been staying at the Days Inn hotel near the airport in Winnipeg while visiting the city from their home in Oxford House, Man.
Melinda and George Wood left their daughter in the room that evening while running out to get cigarettes. When they arrived back a short time later, they said she was no longer there.
Overby said he picked Wood up at the hotel by the airport and they went to get “fishbowls,” a drink served at Boston Pizza.
From there, he said, they returned to his Burrows Avenue home where he had beer and rum.
He told the court they continued to drink, had sex and attempted to buy cocaine.
The court has heard in previous testimony that Wood met Overby through a dating app and evidence showed she logged into social media using Overby’s wifi.
Overby told the court Monday the pair had sex on his couch twice that night. “I felt dirty … honestly I felt like she kind of raped me,” he said, noting after they had sex the first time, she told him she loved him and said she wanted his children.
He told Wood he would not have unprotected sex with her, Overby said.
The two ended up in Overby’s basement. He told the jury “because she told me she was crazy, I thought she might want to see a skeleton of a mouse.”
Overby said Wood was sitting on his weight bench when she took off her shorts and asked to have sex again.
He said he noticed Wood had a knife, and alleges she lunged towards him. But he told the court he doesn’t remember the rest.
“I kinda blacked out,” he testified. “When I turned around, Christine was face down in a puddle of blood by the weight bench.”
He said he didn’t call police. Instead, Overby wrapped Wood’s body in plastic, put her in his truck and buried her outside of the city.
Overby said he lied when he told police he didn’t know her.
During cross-examination the Crown prosecutor alleged he was still lying.
“I’m going to suggest you are doing it again here today in front of these 12 people,” Crown prosecutor Chantal Boutin said.
Evidence admitted to court last week showed he sent several text messages to his ex-girlfriend, anxious he was going to be accused.
Read those text messages here:
During cross-examination, Overby told Crown lawyers he was looking for a “partner,” jealous that his ex-girlfriend of nine years had already found someone new after breaking up months before.
Boutin put it to Overby that he was looking for a “hook-up,” not a relationship, while Wood wanted drugs. She then alleged that when Overby couldn’t get her the drugs she wanted, she wouldn’t have sex with him again.
Overby said that’s not what happened.
Overby also said he didn’t remember taking photos with Christine, which were entered into evidence last week.
Cross-examination continued Monday afternoon, starting with ex-boyfriend Cody Kelly, who met Wood on a social media dating site in 2016, he said.
Kelly said he dated Wood for a while despite claims of being hit, because he was trying to “be there for her,” the courtroom heard.
Closing arguments will take place on Tuesday and the jury could begin deliberations as early as Wednesday morning.
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