News Provincial

Evidence against Basil Borutski in triple-murder trial 'overwhelming,' says Crown

By Aedan Helmer, Postmedia Network

Justin Tang/THE CANADIAN PRESS:

Renfrew County Crown Attorney Jeffery Richardson is seen outside the Ottawa Courthouse following jury selection for the trial of Basil Borutski on three counts of first-degree murder, on Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2017. Borutski is accused of killing Anastasia Kuzyk, 36, Nathalie Warmerdam, 48, and Carol Culleton, 66, near Wilno, Ont., on Sept. 22, 2015.

Justin Tang/THE CANADIAN PRESS: Renfrew County Crown Attorney Jeffery Richardson is seen outside the Ottawa Courthouse following jury selection for the trial of Basil Borutski on three counts of first-degree murder, on Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2017. Borutski is accused of killing Anastasia Kuzyk, 36, Nathalie Warmerdam, 48, and Carol Culleton, 66, near Wilno, Ont., on Sept. 22, 2015.

Basil Borutski tucked a Bible into his pocket on the morning of Sept. 22, 2015 and set out to murder three women “out of revenge,” according to the Crown’s opening statement in Borutski's triple murder trial.

Borutski for the third day Wednesday refused to utter a single word when called upon in court.

But according to Crown attorney Jeffery Richardson, Borutski had plenty to say to police on the day following the killing spree.

Describing the case against Borutski, 59, not as a “who-dunnit,” but as a “why-dunnit,” Richardson told the jury Borutski gave police a full confession in the killings Carol Culleton, 66, Anastasia Kuzyk, 36, and Nathalie Warmerdam, 48, which occurred within a matter of hours on the morning of Sept. 22, 2015.

Richardson called the evidence against Borutski “overwhelming.”

The Crown’s first evidence in the trial, expected to be presented Thursday morning, will be the statement Borutski gave to a police officer on Sept. 23, 2015, in which he speaks about “how and why he committed these murders.”

“For Basil, these murders are all about justice – his kind of justice,” said Richardson. “Justice where murders like these are justifiable. Justice where women pay the ultimate price for using what Borutski says is a corrupt justice system against him. Justice where Borutski gets to be judge, jury and executioner.”

Borutski remained silent, eyes closed as Richardson outlined the case against him.

According to the Crown, Borutski woke up on the morning of Sept. 22 in his home in Palmer Rapids, Ont. after a particularly bad weekend.

He “spoke at length about the Bible” with a friend, according to the Crown, and told her, “This is the Bible I believe in and I am going to show it to the judge … if I’m in jail that Bible is with me.”

He drove to Culleton’s cottage and strangled her to death in her bed with a television cord, court heard. He had a cigarette and left the butt in her kitchen sink. He stole the woman’s car and continued on to the village of Wilno.

Culleton had just retired from Agriculture Canada four days before she was killed. Her husband had succumbed to cancer some years earlier and Culleton was preparing the cottage on Kamaniskeg Lake for sale. At some point she befriended Borutski, who did some repairs on the cottage.

“Unfortunately Basil wanted more from his relationship with Carol than Carol was prepared to give,” said Richardson.

Borutski had just learned that Culleton had renewed a relationship with a former flame, and according to the Crown, “He did not take this well.”

He sent Culleton a series of text messages, which will be presented at trial. Borutski ended his final text to Culleton by saying, “Karma will take over.”

After killing Culleton, according to the Crown, Borutski continued to target two more women, Kuzyk and Warmerdam. He had been in relationships with both women, that, according to Richardson, “did not end well.”

Borutski was charged and convicted of offences against Kuzyk a year earlier in September 2014, and had been charged and convicted of offences against Warmerdam and her son in December 2012.

Eva Kuzyk heard her sister scream from her room upstairs in her Wilno home.

When she ran downstairs to ask what was wrong, court heard that Anastasia Kuzyk, cowering under her kitchen counter, replied, “It’s Basil.”

Eva yelled at the man at her door and ran from the home barefoot, flagging a nearby road crew for help. A gunshot rang out as she ran, and her sister lied dead on her kitchen floor.

“Before 9 a.m., Borutski had murdered two women,” the Crown contended. “But he was not finished.”

Video surveillance taken from Warmerdam’s home on Foymount Road shows Borutski “calmly” walking up the driveway, said the Crown. Warmerdam was making breakfast while her son Adrian, who is expected to be called to testify, was watching television. Neither saw Borutski approach.

“Adrian heard his mother scream. He looked up and saw his mother being chased by Borutski,” Richardson said. “He got up and ran out of the house. As he was doing so, he heard a shot fired.”

Adrian, hiding in the bush behind his house, called 911 at 9:19 a.m. and waited for police to arrive, while Borutski calmly walked to the stolen car and drove away, court heard.

He surrendered to police later that day in a field near Kinburn. The gun used in the shooting death of Kuzyk and Warmerdam was recovered from the field, according to the Crown, and Culleton’s car was found nearby.

“The next day (Borutski) gave a statement to the police in which he confessed to the killings,” Richardson told the jury. “The evidence is overwhelming that Basil Borutski murdered Carol, Anastasia and Nathalie. You will see and hear that evidence.”

The jury trial continues Thursday morning. The jury is now comprised of six men and six women after three jurors were excused before the trial formally commenced.

ahelmer@postmedia.com

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