WATCH: Andrea Giesbrecht, the woman accused of concealing the remains of six babies in a storage locker, was found guilty in a Winnipeg court room Monday afternoon Giesbrecht, 42, was arrested Oct. 20, 2014.
WINNIPEG – After months of delays, the verdict is in. Andrea Giebrecht, 42, has been found guilty of six counts of concealing infant remains.
Provincial court Judge Murrary Thompson handed down Giebrecht’s verdict Monday afternoon. Giebrecht faces up to 12 years in prison as each charge carries a maximum sentence of two years.
“The evidence at trial established that Andrea Giesbrecht was the mother of and delivered six near- or full-term children. The remains of those children were disposed of in a storage locker,” Thompson read. “The evidence leaves no doubt that she concealed her pregnancies and the resulting delivery of each of the six children.”
Giesbrecht was arrested Oct. 20, 2014, when six dead infants were found wrapped in towels and stored inside plastic containers in a U-Haul storage locker she had been renting.
“Expert evidence has established that each of the six children were at a gestational age of development where they were likely to have been born alive” Thompson continued. “The evidence also established that to the knowledge of Giesbrecht, each child would likely have been born alive. I am satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt that the crown has proven the essential elements of each of the offences.”
Giesbrecht’s sentencing date has yet to be announced. She will remain free on bail until she is sentenced.
“We have to live with verdict,” said defence lawyer Greg Brodsky. I have to wait to see what the sentence is and see the matter through to its conclusion before we determine what the appeal will be.”
Giesbrecht faces up to 12 years in prison – two years for each of the charges she has been convicted of.
Infant remains found
On Oct. 20, 2014 the infant remains were discovered at a U-Haul on McPhillips by employees after fees went unpaid on the locker.
Police notes indicate officers found some bodies wrapped in garbage bags put in various bags and plastic containers. One body was wrapped in towel, as well as a garbage bag, and stored in a pail.
“We opened up a pail that was full of some soap. It was full… Seems something was in there,” Ryan Pearson, a 19-year employee with the company said during the trial. “Kinda thought something was not right.”
Pearson said there was an “indescribable” but “weird” smell that came from one of the pails when it was opened.
“We got some gloves because it didn’t seem right,” he said. “Everything was sticky feeling.”
Giesbrecht was arrested soon after and charged with six counts of concealing a body.
After many delays, Giesbrecht’s trial started in April, 2016. The trial first heard Giesbrecht was pregnant at least six times and had several legal abortions over the years, as well as a miscarriage.
Giesbrecht’s husband, Jeremy took to the stand in September, 2016. He said he knew his wife had an unknown number of miscarriages and between nine and 11 abortions.
Experts who examined the infant remains and reviewed the findings testified the infants were developed enough to probably have been born alive, but added it was impossible to say for sure.
Nor could they tell how the babies had died because of the advanced state of decomposition.
During the trial a DNA expert testified and said there “very strong evidence” that Giesbrecht is the mother of the babies found.
DNA from the infant remains was compared to a soiled sanitary napkin taken from Giesbrecht’s home and a sample given by her husband.
Test results yielded strong evidence showing five of the babies belonged to Giesbrecht and her husband and moderately strong evidence the sixth also belonged to them.
During closing statements, her lawyer, Greg Brodsky argued Giesbrect meant to save the babies and not dispose or conceal them.
The Crown prosecutor, Debbie Buors said the infants were not being “saved”, but argued they were “carelessly packaged” and Giesbrecht went to great lengths to try and conceal the remains.