Basil Borutski found guilty in Ottawa Valley triple murder trial
A jury has found 60-year-old Basil Borutski guilty of two counts of first degree murder and one count of second degree murder in the killings of three Ottawa valley women in September of 2015.
Borutski will be sentenced in Pembroke in the area in which these women lived and died.
The 11-member Ottawa jury found Borutski guilty of the premeditated murders if Nathalie Warmerdam and Anastasia Kuzyk but ultimately did not believe Borutski had deliberately planned the murder of Carol Culleton.
It is a verdict that family and friends of the victims had hoped for, had expected. But 26 months after the brutal and violent murders of Culleton, Kuzyk and Warmerdam, it didn't bring the answers many needed for closure.
“If we couldn’t stop someone who was so dangerous and so visible, what does that say about this system at all?” Leighann Burns, the executive director of Harmony House said outside the courthouse today, “These women were clearly living in fear and it was known that he posed a real risk to them.”
During the six week trial Crown Attorney Jeffrey Richardson presented a portrait of a man driven by hatred and anger and fueled with revenge.
"He murdered these women because they lied, rejected him,” he told the jury in his closing remarks.
Richardson used Borutski's own confession to police to support his case.
"I killed them because they were not innocent. They were guilty. I was innocent,” Borutski is seen saying in a police videotape.
Carol Culleton was the first to die on the morning of September 22, 2015.
‘There was a cable around her head,” Borutski tells police.
Borutski told police he used the cable to strangle her then shot Anastasia Kuzyk and Nathalie Warmerdam.
It was Culleton’s case that probably prompted the three day deliberations of the jury in a case that many believed was a slam dunk. The court appointed amicus asked the jury to consider whether Borutski had the mental state to plan the murders. Borutski represented himself in the trial refusing to utter a single word or ask a single question despite being given multiple opportunities. Then on the final day. with the jury absent, Borutski called the judge a liar .
“You said ‘in front of the jury I’m going to ask you and give you your options of giving evidence… ". Borutski said. "You did say that. I’m not lying.”
"No it didn’t happen because I never did that and I never said I’d do that,” replied Justice Robert Maranger.
“I’m not guilty.” Borutski continued.
To which the judge replied: “What’s that? You’re not guilty? That’s the plea that was required at the start of the trial. It’s in the jury’s hands now Mr. Borutski.”
Police hope the verdict will help the families -- and the community heal.
“I hope that by the conclusion of these proceedings,” said Detective-Inspector Mark Zulinski with the OPP, “that these people could move forward in their healing processes and move on with their lives.”
But women's groups wonder how that's even possible.
“Starting tomorrow what are we going to do to make things different for all the other women who come forward and disclose violence in their lives? Burns added, “How do we keep them safe, how do we keep them alive, what are we going to do?”
Borutski will be sentenced in Pembroke December 5.