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Trial of admitted serial killer wraps up second week in Winnipeg

WINNIPEG –

The murder trial of an admitted serial killer has wrapped up its second week of evidence.

Two former acquaintances of Jeremy Skibicki were expected to testify today about their interactions with the killer.

Crown prosecutors told court that one witness had an unexpected health issue, while the other didn’t show up.

Skibicki is facing four counts of first-degree murder for the slayings of four Indigenous women in Winnipeg in 2022.

His lawyers have said he carried out the killings but is not criminally responsible due to a mental illness.

Prosecutors are arguing the killings were racially motivated and Skibicki preyed on the women at homeless shelters.

The trial has heard Skibicki assaulted his victims, strangled or drowned them and disposed of their bodies in garbage bins in his neighbourhood. Two women were dismembered.

Police arrested Skibicki in May 2022, after a man looking for scrap metal in a dumpster found the partial remains of Rebecca Contois. More of the woman’s remains were discovered the following month at a landfill.

During a police interrogation, Skibicki admitted to killing the three other women.

Court heard an unidentified woman Indigenous leaders have named Mashkode Bizhiki’ikwe, or Buffalo Woman, was killed in March 2022.

Morgan Harris and Marcedes Myran were killed that May.

Police have said they believe the remains of Harris and Myran are in another landfill and have yet to be recovered. Police said it’s not known where Buffalo Woman is located.

Earlier this week, Skibicki’s ex-wife testified he was violent and controlling during their marriage. The woman said Skibicki sexually and physically assaulted her, and one time tried to suffocate her with a pillow.

The trial also heard from a shelter worker, who said Skibicki told him he was at the facility to “stalk his victims.”

Manitoba Court of King’s Bench Chief Justice Glenn Joyal also ordered Skibicki undergo a mental health assessment this weekend, after a request from the Crown.

Defence lawyers have retained their own expert to provide an assessment later on in the trial.

The judge-alone trial is scheduled until June 6.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 17, 2024.

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