A man on trial for murder says he didn’t kill a Winnipeg grandmother, but he did find her body.
Thomas Brine, 29, is on trial for first degree murder in the 2011 sexual assault and killing of 73-year-old Elizabeth Lafantaisie.
On Thursday, the jury watched an edited video of Brine’s statement to police.
At first, Brine denied knowing about Lafantaisie’s high-profile murder at all.
But about six hours after the interview started, he told police he popped the trunk of a car he had stolen and saw Lafantaisie’s dead body inside.
He kept insisting he had nothing to do with the murder.
“I never (expletive) killed anybody,” he tells the detectives repeatedly.
He said he panicked, threw her purse down the parkade stairs and drove to a car wash to wash off his prints.
Then, he says he smoked a bunch of crack cocaine and ditched the car on a street in Osborne Village.
He told detectives he still had the key fob in a backpack at the place he was staying.
Court heard Wednesday that police seized a backpack and keys from a Henderson Highway suite.
The jury also heard testimony from a woman who found Lafantaisie’s purse in a south Winnipeg parkade stairwell.
Photos from an Osborne Village car wash have been entered in as evidence.
An RCMP forensic scientist testified sperm found on an internal swab taken from the victim matched Brine’s DNA. He said the odds of it matching any other Canadian is 1 in 68 trillion.
A pathologist testified earlier in the trial that LaFantaisie was strangled to death and also had broken bones in her leg and neck.
Photo of Elizabeth LaFantaisie courtesy of Janine Gosselin