“I’m not going to say this is a weird case, but it is.” – Defence lawyer Greg Brodsky
WINNIPEG – After months of delays and horrific testimony the Andrea Giesbrecht trial has finally come to a close.
Giesbrecht, 42, is the mother accused of hiding the remains of six dead infants inside a storage locker on McPhillips Street.
She has pleaded not guilty to six counts of concealing infant remains. If convicted, each count carries a maximum penalty of two years in prison.
In the Crown’s closing argument, they presented Giesbrecht as deceitful, that she consistently hid her pregnancies from everyone in her life. They said she knew a lot about pregnancies based on her life experiences, and therefore would be in position to know how far along in a pregnancy she would be.
This is important because one of the keys in the case is whether or not the babies were likely to have been born alive. Prosecutors have called several medical experts throughout the trial and many of them have said it’s possible, if not likely, the babies were live births.
But the defence claimed that the Crown didn’t do enough to prove this. They recognized that the Crown didn’t have to prove they were actually born alive, just that it was likely. In this regard, it was a case of ‘he said, she said.’
The remains were so decomposed that determining an exact cause of death is impossible, which the defence argues should exonerate their client.
The remains were found by staff at U-Haul when they opened the locker because Giesbrecht was not paying her bill.
The Crown argued that she knew what she was doing was wrong, by hiding the remains. Further proving her guilt, they argue, was the fact that she poured detergent on the remains to cloak the odour, showing that she was worried she would get caught.
But the defence says Giesbrecht was not concealing anything. They argue she was ‘keeping’ the remains or ‘saving’ them, which the Crown argues is no different than concealing.
The defence says by paying to keep them in a heated unit, instead of throwing them in the garbage, she showed no criminal intent.
The judge will now wait until February 6 to deliver a verdict.