Accused killer Borutski acted out of revenge in killing friends, Crown argues
OTTAWA -- Crown attorney Jeffery Richardson says jurors ought to have no reasonable doubts that Basil Borutski killed three former friends in a carefully executed plan to exact revenge.
Borutski is on trial for first-degree murder in the deaths of Carol Culleton, 66, Anastasia Kuzyk, 36, and Nathalie Warmerdam, 48.
Culleton was strangled to death with a television coaxial cable and Kuzyk and Warmerdam were both killed with a 12-gauge shotgun fired at close range. They all died within about an hour of each other at their residences in Renfrew County on the morning of Sept. 22, 2015.
Richardson delivered his closing statement to the jury on Tuesday, saying the case he laid out proves Borutski planned to kill all three women in a twisted belief they deserved to die because he felt they had lied about him to police and their friends and used him for money.
He explained that to prove murder he has to show Borutski killed the three women intentionally and unlawfully and to prove first-degree murder he has to show it was planned and deliberate. He says the evidence proves all of that. He said DNA, firearms evidence and eyewitness testimony all identify Borutski as the killer.
Then there is the five-hour videotaped confession Borutski gave to an OPP officer the day after the murders in which he repeatedly admits to killing them and explains how he did it, but claims it wasn't murder because they were not innocent. According to Borutski, only innocent people can be murdered.
He argued that Kuzyk and Warmerdam lied in court when they helped get him convicted of threatening and assaulting them and Culleton lied about her relationship with him and then shunned him for another man.
"Borutski would have us cast some sort of biblical justification upon what is really nothing more than a callous, premeditated act of revenge, an act of murder in any way you define it," Richardson said. "There is no justification for what he did."
Richardson said there is no doubt Borutski intended to kill Kuzyk when he shot her while she cowered behind her kitchen island, or that he intended to kill Warmerdam as he chased her around her farmhouse and shot her at close range while she tried to run up the stairs.
He said there is no doubt he intended to kill Culleton when he broke into her cottage and picked up a coaxial cable inside while she tried to defend herself and begged him to reconsider saying "this is not you Basil."
"Pause now and consider the physical act of wrapping a cable around a living woman's neck six times, how long it takes, how much effort it takes, while she is fighting for her life," Richardson asked the jury.
The 11-member jury will be charged by the judge Wednesday morning before beginning deliberations. Justice Robert Maranger discharged the 12th member of the jury Tuesday morning after a family emergency left her unable to attend the trial.
Borutski, 60, is representing himself, but sat silently in the prisoner's box and refused to participate Tuesday, as he has throughout the trial. He did not acknowledge the judge when Maranger asked him if he wanted to give a closing statement.
James Foord, the lawyer appointed by Maranger to ensure Borutski's right to a fair trial, delivered a closing statement, reminding the jurors they have to decide if Borutski planned and deliberately killed the three women.