WINNIPEG — A Winnipeg man has been convicted of murdering an Indigenous woman in what Crown prosecutors have called a crime worse than any horror movie.
A jury found Brett Ronald Overby, 32, guilty of second-degree murder Wednesday in the death of 21-year-old Christine Wood.
Wood had travelled to Winnipeg from the Oxford House First Nation in northern Manitoba in the summer of 2016. Court heard she met Overby through a dating website.
He admitted to killing Wood, but his lawyer was asking for a manslaughter conviction because Overby said he didn’t remember what happened and didn’t mean to harm her.
The Crown pointed to evidence that Wood was stabbed 11 times, her throat was slit and her skull and leg were broken. Blood was all over Overby’s basement.
“How did Christine Wood die?” Crown lawyer Brent Davidson asked in his closing address Tuesday.
“She was slaughtered.”
Court heard how Wood was staying at a hotel with her parents, who were in the city to support a family member having surgery, the night she disappeared.
Her body was found 10 months later in a ditch near a farmer’s field just outside of Winnipeg.
The trial heard how Wood drank and did drugs while in the city, but the Crown told the jury that she was a young woman from an isolated community who got “swallowed up by the city of Winnipeg.”
She met Overby through the dating website Plenty of Fish and they decided to go for a few drinks.
Overby testified that they decided to go back to his house, where they had more drinks and attempted unsuccessfully to buy cocaine. They had sex on his couch, Overby said, but as the night went on Wood began acting erratically and punched him in the face.
He told court that Wood pressured him to have unprotected sex and took a condom off him. Overby said it felt like he was raped.
He further testified that he took Wood down to his basement to show her a mouse skeleton. He said Wood then came at him with a knife and he blacked out.
He next remembered seeing Wood lying on the floor in a pool of blood, he said.
Defence lawyer Sarah Inness told jurors that Wood didn’t deserve to die, but her client “snapped” after the woman came at him with the weapon.
“(Her) violent and unpredictable behaviour provoked a reaction,” she said.
A second-degree murder conviction carries a mandatory life sentence.