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Classification: Serial killer
Characteristics: Rape
Number of victims: 4
Date of murders: October 2009 - November 2010
Date of arrest: November 28, 2010
Date of birth: January 21, 1990
Victims profile: Jill Stacey Stuchenko, 35 / Cynthia Frances Maas, 35 / Natasha Lynn Montgomery, 23 (her body has not been found) / Loren Donn Leslie, 15 (partially blind)
Method of murder: Blood loss and blunt force trauma
Location: Prince George and Vanderhoof, British Columbia, Canada
Status: Sentenced to life in prison with no parole for 25 years on September 16, 2014


R. v. Legebokoff,
2014 BCSC 1746

Date: 20140916
Docket: 35171
Registry: Prince George



Cody Alan Legebokoff

Before: The Honourable Mr. Justice W. G. Parrett

Oral Reasons for Sentence

Counsel for the Crown: O. Kuzma Q.C., J. Temple, and L.A. Vizsolyi
Counsel for the Accused: J. I. Heller and R.S. Fowler

Place and Dates of Trial:

Prince George, B.C.
May 31, June 2-5, 9-13, 16-20, 23-26, July 2-4, 7-11, 14-18, 21-24, 28-31, August 18-19, 25-28, September 2-4, 8-11

Place and Date of Judgment:

Prince George, B.C.
September 16, 2014


[1] The accused, Cody Alan Legebokoff, was arrested on the 28th day of November, 2010 for the murder of Loren Donn Leslie. As the investigation that followed progressed other investigations merged and at trial the accused was faced with four counts of first degree murder. The charges before the jury were:

(1) that from the 9th day of October 2009 to the 26th day of October 2009 he committed the first degree murder of Jill Stacey Stuchenko;

(2) that from the 19th day of August 2010 to the 27th day of November 2010 he committed the first degree murder of Natasha Lynn Montgomery;

(3) that from the 10th day of September 2010 to the 9th day of October 2010 he committed the first degree murder of Cynthia Frances Maas;

(4) that on or about the 27th day of November 2010 he committed the first degree murder of Loren Donn Leslie.

[2] On September 11, 2014 the jury in this matter returned verdicts of guilty as charged on all four counts. These verdicts followed a trial which began with jury selection on May 31, 2014.

[3] Sentencing is among the most difficult tasks the court must carry out, and sentencing a young man for first degree murder is, in some respects, among the most difficult of those.

[4] In this case that task is complicated by the necessity that I make the necessary findings of fact on which that sentencing can be carried out. This is necessitated in the present case by the clear fact that the jury, in returning the unanimous verdict they did, in my view, rejected much of the accused’s evidence.


Circumstances of the Offences:

Jill Stacey Stuchenko

[5] Jill Stuchenko was born on December 2, 1973. She was 35 years old when she died in October of 2009. She was the mother of six, four boys and two girls with an extended family.

[6] She was last heard from or seen on or about October 9th or 10th, 2009 and, as many Canadians that year were enjoying their Thanksgiving dinner with family and friends she was dead or dying.

[7] Her body was located by Johnny Pius half buried in a shallow grave in a somewhat isolated part of a gravel pit located near the intersection of Otway Road and Ospika Boulevard, in the City of Prince George, on October 26, 2009. Mr. Pius made his way to the R.C.M.P. Detachment nearby and reported his discovery beginning the first of a series of discrete investigations which would eventually merge and result in the present trial.

[8] Ms. Stuchenko had suffered a series of massive blunt force blows to the back and the right side of her head and to her face which caused, in part, scalp lacerations, skull fractures and cerebral contusions. There were multiple bruises from similar blows to her forehead, forearms and upper arms, as well as to both her knees. The amount of blood loss was so extreme that the pathologist had trouble obtaining a sample during the autopsy. No useful purpose would be served here in detailing the specific extent of her injuries which can be found described in considerable detail in the autopsy report and evidence of Dr. Stephen. Suffice it to say that the extent and nature of her injuries would eventually provide part of the factual basis from which an overall and striking pattern emerged which, in my view, clearly links the murders of, Stuchenko, Maas, and Leslie, and informs and completes the evidence available with respect to Montgomery.

[9] During the course of her autopsy and as a result of forensic DNA analysis of samples taken from a right hand fingernail, and swabs from both her vagina and anus, and samples taken from a tampon located within her vagina, the DNA profile of an unknown male was developed. Eventually, after the accused was arrested on November 28, 2010, and a sample obtained from him, the unknown profile was matched to that obtained from the accused.

[10] Further DNA analysis of cuttings from a saturation bloodstain on the large couch found in the accused’s Liard Drive apartment matched the genetic profile obtained from Stuchenko from samples taken during her autopsy. When the investigators found no bloodstains beneath the couch or elsewhere in the apartment the investigation moved on to the basement suite of 1510 Carney St. where the accused was living at the time of Ms. Stuchenko’s disappearance. At that location bloodstains and eventually a DNA profile was developed from the carpet at the location where the couch had been that matched the genetic profile of Ms. Stuchenko.

[11] After considering the whole of the evidence I am left with no reasonable doubt that Jill Stuchenko was murdered in the accused’s basement suite at 1510 Carney Street on the Thanksgiving weekend of 2009 while his roommates were away for the weekend.

Natasha Lynn Montgomery

[12] Natasha Lynn Montgomery was born on March 14, 1987. She was 23 years old when she died between August 30th, 2010 and September 1, 2010. She was a mother of two, a son and a daughter. She and her long-time boyfriend, who had known each other since she was twelve, had separated over her drug use. Mr. Godwin, the father of her two children had testified that despite her difficulties she had remained in contact with him and the children calling every other day or so and had planned on returning to see them prior to her disappearance. A collection of family photographs and photographs of the two children were retrieved from personal effects left behind when Ms. Montgomery disappeared.

[13] Ms. Montgomery had these photographs with her while she was in custody at the Prince George Regional Correctional Centre. She was released from that institution on August 19, 2010.

[14] At the time of her disappearance Ms. Montgomery was staying at the apartment of Jeffrey Menton where she had been staying for about two weeks. When she failed to return as she had said she would Mr. Menton became concerned. Menton sent her an email the next day. The email is found within the Exhibits and is dated September 1, 2010. He never saw or heard from Ms. Montgomery again.

[15] Robert Fforsyth knew Natasha Montgomery and had dropped her at the Fas Gas station at 20th Avenue and Queensway. She had told him she would call him later that night but did not. His search for her was unsuccessful. The next day knowing she intended to go to the welfare office to pick up a cheque; he waited outside that office all day but she never appeared. While uncertain as to the exact date Mr. Fforsyth knew that it was the day he closed the storage locker he had at Budget Storage on 1st Avenue and he had been at that office going through that process on two consecutive days, August 31st and September 1st, 2010.

[16] Ms. Montgomery’s body has never been located.

[17] Forensic testing of the shorts Cody Legebokoff was wearing at the time of his arrest for the murder of Loren Leslie yielded two matches to the genetic profile of Natasha Montgomery. A subsequent search of the accused’s apartment located –

(a) a light blue bed sheet which produced thirty separate matches to the genetic profile of Natasha Montgomery,

(b) a blue comforter yielded genetic profile (DNA) matches to Natasha Montgomery,

(c) two cuttings from the box spring mattress located in the bedroom of the Liard Drive apartment yielded full matches to the Montgomery profile,

(d) cuttings taken from the linoleum floor in the dining area yielded one mixed profile with matches to both Cody Legebokoff and Natasha Montgomery, two other matches to Montgomery’s profile and one to the profile of Legebokoff,

(e) a cutting from the carpet in the hallway outside the door to the master bedroom yielded three matches to Montgomery’s profile,

(f) the blue bath mat seized from the bathroom of the apartment yielded four different matches to Montgomery’s profile,

(g) a white and black hoodie seized from the apartment yielded four separate matches to Montgomery’s profile.

[18] During the course of the search of the accused’s apartment an axe was located in the entry closet which yielded fourteen separate matches to the genetic profile of Montgomery from different areas of the handle and head of the axe. Thirty three separate swabs taken from a variety of locations from the bedroom, hallway, bathroom, living room curtains, kitchen and dining room yielded matches to Montgomery’s profile.

[19] After considering the whole of the evidence I am left with no reasonable doubt that Natasha Lynn Montgomery was murdered in the accused’s apartment on Liard Drive, that it was a very violent incident and that the axe, at least, was used either in the killing or the disposal of her body.

Cynthia Frances Maas

[20] Cynthia Maas was born on May 29, 1975. She was 35 years old when she died in September 2010. She was a mother of a little girl and as her family said, a daughter, a sister, aunty, cousin, niece, grandchild, friend and mother.

[21] Her body was found in a somewhat remote area of L.C. Gunn Park on October 9, 2010 by two police officers patrolling the area. The body had been dragged up against a tree line and left, naked from the waist down, with her pants rolled down over her feet.

[22] She was last seen, I find, on the evening of September 10, 2010 when she attended at the apartment of Patricia Thiessen and Tim Senft. There she cleaned up and was given a set of clean clothes including the jacket in which she was found. The jacket was identified by Ms. Thiessen as the one she had given her.

[23] The day before, September 9, 2009, Ms. Maas had a series of well documented contacts, with Sarah Higgins, a social worker with whom she exchanged documents by facsimile transmission, and with Denise Wagner, the co-ordinator for the AWACS shelter, for whom she completed a series of forms. She also contacted her stepfather, Bill Cossley, by telephone, at 2:50 PM that afternoon. There was no apparent contact with anyone thereafter, save for the contact with Thiessen and Senft.

[24] Ms. Maas had suffered a series massive blunt force trauma blows to her head and face resulting in multiple fractures to the facial area as well as fractured ribs, a fractured right clavicle and scapula. In addition she suffered penetrating injuries to the right chest and neck and damage to various vertebrae. Dr. Symes found that there were at least five blunt impacts visible on the left and top of her skull and a total of sixteen impacts to the skull. He also found a fracture of the right wrist and numerous fractures of the right and left hands with extensive bruising.

[25] The cause of death was attributed to blunt force trauma to the head and penetrating injuries to the right chest and neck.

[26] During the course of the police investigation a female’s black sweater was found and seized from behind the driver’s seat of the accused’s pickup truck. Tapings taken from the inside of the neck area of that sweater yielded three samples of biological material which produced three genetic profile matches, two to that of Cynthia Maas and one to that of Cody Legebokoff. A second item located in the same area of the truck was a white sock which produced four samples two of which were hemochromogen+ for blood. These samples produced four profile matches, three to Cynthia Maas and one to Cody Legebokoff.

[27] In the subsequent search of the accused’s Liard Drive apartment two additional items were located. The first was a pair of black DVS shoes located in the entranceway closet. Of the 28 areas of the shoes tested 25 produced matches to the profile of Cynthia Maas and another produced a mixed profile consisting of a match for both Cynthia Maas and that of Cody Legebokoff. The remaining samples produced single profile matches to Cody Legebokoff.

[28] The second item located in the apartment was a pick axe tool (a pickeroon) located and seized from the master bedroom of the apartment. Nine samples were taken from the shaft and head of the pickeroon and all matched the genetic (DNA) profile of Cynthia Maas.

[29] It is notable that not a single one of the swabs taken from the apartment and processed, other than those mentioned, produced results matching the Maas profile.

[30] After considering the whole of the evidence I am left with no reasonable doubt that Cynthia Maas was murdered and that the pickeroon located and seized from the accused’s bedroom was one of the tools used in that murder.

Loren Donn Leslie

[31] Loren Leslie was born on January 5, 1995. She was fifteen years old when she died sometime in the late evening of November 27, 2010.

[32] Her body was located near midnight that night by Conservation Officer Cameron Hill concealed in heavy brush off a gravel pit accessed by an old logging road off Highway 27 about 40 to 45 kilometers north of Vanderhoof towards Fort. St. James.

[33] The body was lying face down under an evergreen tree having been dragged into the bush alongside the gravel pit in an apparent attempt to conceal it or at least delay its discovery.

[34] The body had pants on but they had been rolled down around her ankles and feet with the underwear rolled down within those pants.

[35] The body positioning and condition was remarkably similar to the positioning and condition of the body of Cynthia Maas when it was located a little more than six weeks earlier.

[36] Unlike the investigations launched in the cases of Stuchenko, Montgomery and Maas where the start of the investigations were delayed by the circumstances, the Leslie investigation began immediately.

[37] One of the results of this was a far more complete picture of the circumstances leading up to the death of Ms. Leslie than was available in the other three cases.

[38] The other difference was that the police had a suspect for the Leslie case who had never been on their radar.

[39] There are, in the evidence, a complete series of text or email communications between the accused and Loren Leslie. These communications began on November 1, 2010 at 15:35:05. These messages are both revealing and chilling when closely examined.

[40] In his first series of messages the accused attempts to arrange a meeting that night. The purpose on his part appears purely sexual.

[41] On November 27, 2010 the messages between the two begin when Loren Leslie texts the accused at 18:04:01. At that time Legebokoff’s girlfriend was at his apartment but left at 18:30. The accused replied to Leslie at 18:31:33 and within a minute began making arrangements to meet Leslie that night.

[42] The balance of their communications are, as I have indicated, highly revealing and provide a fairly detailed timeline leading up to the first (and last) meeting between Loren Leslie and the accused.

[43] In the messages the accused urges Leslie not to tell anyone about him and she in turns tells him “. . . nothing sexual”.

[44] The last message exchanged between them is at 20:22:41 after the accused had purchased alcohol at a Cold Beer and Wine Store in Vanderhoof.

[45] Shortly after 20:31:00, likely within a few minutes, Richard Wruth saw a dark pickup truck parked next to the chain link fence at W.M. McLeod Elementary School and a person in shorts walking towards the swings at the school where Loren Leslie was seated.

[46] I will return later in these reasons to the issue of the accused’s credibility, but at this point it should be noted that in his evidence the accused testified that he and Ms. Leslie had consensual sex in his truck at the school, and again at the gravel pit near where her body was found, immediately before she “went ape shit” and started hitting herself.

[47] The importance of this testimony lies not simply in its unlikely nature but also in its relevance to the timeline that emerges from the whole of the evidence.

[48] Loren Leslie and her friend Charity Funk exchanged a series of text messages that night. The exchange began at 20:30:19 and ended at 20:35:49. With one exception all of these messages occurred within gaps of approximately 30 to 40 seconds during which Ms. Leslie told Ms. Funk she was out driving with Cody, a friend from P.G.

[49] I suppose they could have been having sex as Mr. Legebokoff suggests but it seems improbable.

[50] According to the accused it took him 20 to 25 minutes to drive to the logging road off Highway 27 from Vanderhoof. This would put their arrival at that area around 21:00:00 or 9:00 PM.

[51] Cst. Kehler was on his way south to meet Cst. Sidhu. He observed a vehicle approaching the highway from the east at what seemed a high rate of speed. His evidence was that he observed that vehicle at approximately 9:35 PM and subsequently pulled it over at 9:47 PM after meeting Cst. Sidhu.

[52] What this long recital means, in in my view, is that what occurred between Ms. Leslie and the accused at this remote location in the middle of the brush and forest all occurred in a maximum time span of some 30 to 35 minutes, on the first occasion these two had ever met. That included if Mr. Legebokoff is to be believed them having sex, Ms. Leslie freaking out and injuring herself, the accused finishing her off, dragging her body into the bush, his gathering the items including the weapons then cleaning up and sweeping the snow to cover the tracks.

[53] Ms. Leslie died from a combination of blood loss and brain injury resulting from a series of massive blows to the head causing extensive blunt force trauma and two stab wounds to her neck.

[54] I accept and specifically find that the blunt force trauma suffered by Ms. Leslie was too extensive and severe in and of itself for it to have possibly been self- inflicted. I am also of the view and specifically find that she did not cause the stab wounds to her neck.

[55] These findings are based on my overall assessment of the evidence concerning her total injuries including the multiple fractures and bruising to her wrist and hands as well as the incised wound to the right second finger. This would, in particular, along with the fractures to the fingers I specifically find to be defensive injuries suffered by this young lady while trying to fend off the accused’s attack. I cannot and do not accept that the injuries to her fingers were caused by the accused stepping on them.

[56] The attack produced between 5 and 8 massive blows to the head as well as the two stab wounds to the neck.

[57] The links to the accused in the case of Ms. Leslie are literally too numerous to mention.

[58] At the time the accused was stopped and subsequently arrested after having been seen departing the area where the body of Ms. Leslie was found at a high rate of speed, the evidence linking the accused includes:

(a) he had blood and DNA from Ms. Leslie on his shirt, shorts and shoes;

(b) he had Ms. Leslie’s cell phone in the pocket of his shorts;

(c) he had a leatherman multi-tool with Ms. Leslie’s blood and DNA on its interior surfaces in the cargo pocket of his shorts;

(d) the pipe wrench with blood and DNA from Ms. Leslie was found in the cab of his truck

(e) Ms. Leslie’s backpack, wallet, and I.D. were sitting on the passenger seat of his pickup truck;

(f) the alcohol, including the specific type discussed in their text messages purchased at a Cold Beer and Wine Store in Vanderhoof, partially consumed, was located in his truck.

[59] After considering the whole of the evidence I am left with no reasonable doubt that Loren Leslie was murdered and that the pipe wrench located in the accused’s truck and the leatherman found in a pocket of his shorts were used by him in the murder.

[60] I reject unequivocally the story that Ms. Leslie inflicted any of these injuries on herself.

Similar Fact Evidence

[61] After examining the whole of the evidence I am completely satisfied that this evidence satisfies the test for its use as similar fact evidence count to count on the identified issues.

[62] I am, specifically, satisfied that the similarities in all four cases, and in particular similarities in the nature of the victims, the pattern and extent of injuries and the way in which the victims were left or disposed of are such that all four were probably killed by the same person.

[63] The objective improbability of one person being linked by blood and DNA to all four victims who were murdered in a span of 14 months, let alone the last three in a span of less than three months and having in his possession or control weapons used in three of the four murders is quite simply entirely outside the realm of coincidence.

Routes to First Degree Murder

[64] There were in this case three possible routes by which the jury could conclude that in each case the murder was a first degree murder.

[65] These routes were:

(a) as a party to an offence of first degree murder committed by X, Y or Z;

(b) by concluding that one or more of the four murders met the criteria for planning and deliberation; and

(c) by concluding that one or more of the four murders took place while the accused was committing or attempting to commit a sexual assault.

[66] For reasons that will become apparent I reject the first of these three routes as being available in this case.

[67] I specifically find that in the case of counts 2, 3 and 4, the murders of Natasha Montgomery, Cynthia Maas and Loren Leslie, all three were both planned and deliberate and took place while the accused was committing or attempting to commit a sexual assault and that in each case they constitute a first degree murder on both basis.

[68] In the case of count 1 and the murder of Jill Stuchenko, I am left on the evidence with a reasonable doubt as to whether it, as the first of this series of murders, was planned and deliberate.

[69] This doubt arises in part as a result of the time gap of nearly a year between its commission and that of Natasha Montgomery. This type of a gap was never repeated, and could arise from the fact it was the first.

[70] Ms. Stuchenko's trade also gives rise to a doubt as to how this encounter began, but there is no doubt in my view about how it ended.

[71] I am satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt that the murder of Ms. Stuchenko took place during the course of a sexual assault. The sexual encounter may have started as a consensual encounter but the evidence supports the conclusion that it did not end that way. This is evidence from the injuries to Ms. Stuchenko’s anal area.

[72] I conclude that in the case of count 1 the offence is first degree murder because the murder took place while the accused was committing a sexual assault.


[73] The accused was born on January 21, 1990 at Fort St. James. At present he is 24 years of age.

[74] At the time of the offence in count 1 he was 19 years of age, and at the time of the offences in counts 2, 3 and 4 he was 20 years of age.

[75] Mr. Legebokoff is one of three children, having an older brother and a younger sister. His parents were married at the age of 19 and he described his childhood as a normal childhood in a family with loving parents.

[76] He went on to describe an upbringing in which the main activities were camping, hunting and fishing, with fishing trips to the Kitimat area every year.

[77] Mr. Legebokoff testified that he played hockey with some success and graduated from high school.

[78] He was born with a birth defect which he called shoulder dystocia. He described it as a defect which resulted from damage to the nerves in his left arm. He testified that although it affected his ability to lift weight with that arm alone but that it never really affected him.

[79] After graduating from high school he moved with one of his friends to Lethbridge, Alberta in June 2008 where he worked at a variety of jobs until he returned to Fort St. James in the summer of 2009.

[80] In mid to late August of 2009 he moved to Prince George where he took up residence with some friends from Fort St. James in a house at 1510 Carney Street.


[81] All of us in this courtroom are aware of the impact these four murders have had on the families of the victims.

[82] We have heard during the sentencing process from two of those family members, Judy Maas and Luanne Montgomery. Their emotional and thoughtful comments provide a necessary and humanizing perspective to a process that can sometimes lose perspective through the use of labels which sometimes mask and obscure the people behind those labels.

[83] Many other family members have taken the time to contribute their victim impact statements. I thank each of you for taking the time and making the effort to share those thoughts and feelings, which Ms. Vizsolyi read into the record.

[84] I am torn in cases like this between quoting extensively from these types of victim impact statements so that all will know that I have carefully considered them or respecting a degree of privacy that this process tends to lack and simply refer to them.

[85] I hope that each of you who has taken the time to provide your thoughts and feelings will understand that by not referring further to those statements I mean no disrespect. I can assure each of you that in addition to hearing them read in the courtroom, I have read each over, more than once, and sought by your words to restore the perception in my own mind of these four victims as individuals.


[86] In this case it is important to say something about the credibility of the accused, who has testified at this trial and who provided us all with his current version of the deaths of these four victims.

[87] On August 26 and 27 of 2014 the accused took the witness stand at this trial and told us of the individuals he identified as X, Y and Z and their role in the deaths of Jill Stuchenko, Cynthia Maas and Natasha Montgomery. It would have been difficult to include them, and he did not attempt to do so, in the death of Loren Leslie.

[88] As Mr. Temple put it in his address to the jury, Mr. Legebokoff began this case by inventing a story in which he imported his childhood friend Tomus Russell into a completely fictional story about poaching a deer. He had no compunction about implicating his friend to conceal his involvement in a violent murder.

[89] Mr. Temple then suggested that Mr. Legebokoff ended the case by inventing, X, Y and Z to obscure his criminal involvement.

[90] I will not take the time necessary to go through in meticulous detail the turns and twists of Mr. Legebokoff’s stories to the police.

[91] In summary fashion only:

(a) he told the deer poaching story to Cst. Kehler and Conservation Officer Hill;

(b) upon his arrest for murder and, in particular, in the recording of it, he told Cst. Sidhu that he did not murder anybody but that he found “it”. The tone and choice of words in this recording is, in my view, critically important, for it displays a dehumanizing quality that is vividly revealed;

(c) then Mr. Legebokoff admitted that he had been there and that he had taken Loren Leslie there but that she had caused the injuries herself;

(d) eventually he admitted that he had hit her once, maybe twice;

(e) finally he admitted in his evidence in this courtroom that he hit her because he was angry.

[92] The passage from his direct evidence is found in the transcript of August 26, 2014 at p. 75, lines 6 to 33:

Q.- Okay. Uh, what did you do?

A.- I had seen the - - seen the pipe wrench there, and, uh, I had grabbed the pipe wrench, and I had hit her with it.

Q.- Why?

A.- It was out of anger, frustration, panic. Didn’t really know what to do, but that’s generally why it - - why that happened.

Q.- What do you mean by you hit her? Where did you hit her?

A.- I hit her on the head.

Q.- How many times?

A.- I’m going to say a few times. Couple times, few times. Don’t really know a - - an exact number, but - -

Q.- You say out of anger. What - - what were you angry about?

A.- Well, the fact that this happened. I wasn’t expecting any of this to happen. And I was pissed off, really, that it came to this and that this happened.

Q.- Okay, so you hit her ha - - and I’m sorry, how many times do you think you hit her - - or did you hit her?

A.- Two. Maybe - - maybe more. I’m not - - I’m not a hundred percent sure.

Q. - Did she move again after that?

A.- No.

[93] What emerges from this particular passage in Mr. Legebokoff’s evidence is a recurring theme that flows throughout his evidence. Nothing is ever his fault. Things never happen because he does something, they always occur by agreement or mutual consent or for some other reason not directly related to him.

[94] Returning however to the point of this summary, even the accused in answer to Mr. Heller made it clear what he thought of his stories to the police and the reason he told them (August 26, 2014 transcript, p. 77, lines 9 to 20):

Q.- - - You told Constable Keller, at first, that you were out grouse hunting, recall that?

A.- Yeah. Those first - - the stories about me hunting in - - those were complete bullshit. The only reason I said that was to try and, you know, get out of the situation as - - as - - anyway I could, and it was the first thing that popped into my mind. Not to mention the fact that I got pulled over by a cop and I had all the items in the vehicle. I had drug paraphernalia. I had open alcohol. Um, so I wasn’t really ready to tell him what just transpired. [Emphasis added.]

[95] He makes no bones about why he invented the story. It was to “ . . . get out of the situation - - as - - as - - anyway I could . . .”

[96] This then is the individual whose evidence at this trial is offered for belief.

[97] In the opening moments of his testimony and after offering his affirmation for his evidence in the usual words he announces that he will not tell the whole truth because he will not tell the Court who X, Y and Z are.

[98] These faceless, nameless individuals enter the evidence at this trial through the evidence of the accused alone, there is not a shred of other evidence supporting their actual existence. They pass through crime scenes without leaving a shred of DNA evidence –

(a) at the scene of three different murders,

(b) on the bodies of the two victims which were recovered, or

(c) at the scene where the bodies of Stuchenko and Maas were recovered.

[99] Other aspects of this story are at least this problematic. Mr. Legebokoff apparently moved to Prince George between the middle and the end of August 2009 having returned to Fort St. James from Lethbridge, Alberta that summer.

[100] From the end of August until October 10, 2009, a period of roughly six weeks, the accused had apparently met drug dealer X, who had gotten to know him and trust him so much that he began bringing his targets to the accused’s residence for the purpose of committing first degree murders somehow believing he would cooperate.

[101] Not only, according to Mr. Legebokoff, do the murders take place in his residence but, in each case with the exception of Maas, they take place using tools he provides. In the case of Maas, she apparently revives and is subsequently killed with the pickeroon Legebokoff provides to Y in L.C. Gunn Park.

[102] Three other aspects of this story should be commented on.

[103] The evidence given by the accused at this trial has X, Y and Z each committing a single one of the murders. This in itself seems odd, but the other aspect that is unusual is that if one carefully examines the accused’s version of each murder, it becomes apparent that never in his version of each attack does more than one person attack the victim.

[104] X, who apparently is inclined to bring “muscle” along in the form of either Y in the case of Stuchenko and Maas, and Z in the case of Montgomery, never uses them.

[105] Legebokoff, in his evidence, describes he and Y simply sitting on couches, futons or loveseats while X attacks the victims and wrestles with Montgomery for some five minutes.

[106] Finally the accused switches the order of the murders of Maas and Montgomery.

[107] In my view, the evidence clearly establishes that Natasha Montgomery disappeared between August 30 and September 1, 2010, and that Cynthia Maas disappeared between September 9 and 11, 2010.

[108] Mr. Legebokoff insisted however that Maas was murdered ahead of Montgomery.

[109] His explanation for this evidence when challenged in cross-examination is revealing. It is found in the transcript of August 27, 2014 at p. 58, lines 2 to 7:

Q.- Yes, she was reported missing, but the last anybody saw of her was either September the 1st or August 31st when she was setting out from Jeff Minten’s house to go walk her nightly stroll.

A.- Ah, I - - there is evidence that someone did see her past the 5th. I forget, because I’ve seen it.

[110] The implication of this answer is that the accused is taking the evidence available to the Crown and incorporating it into his evidence and building his story around it.

[111] This implication is supported by a close examination of his lengthy interviews by the police. Two things are abundantly clear. First, the accused listens carefully to what the police say to him and often changes to his version of events can be traced directly to such information. Secondly, when faced with evidence such as that mounted by the Crown at trial this is an accused who is quite prepared to fabricate a story to attempt to extract himself to the extent possible.

[112] I do not believe that X, Y or Z exist or that they were involved in the deaths of Stuchenko, Montgomery or Maas.

[113] I reject the accused’s evidence about X, Y and Z as a fabrication, nothing about this evidence creates a reasonable doubt concerning the accused’s guilt.

[114] The real difficulty with Mr. Legebokoff’s evidence is that it is not entirely fabrication for he builds his stories around and to explain evidence he believes or knows implicates him.

[115] As an example, he cannot escape his possession of the pickeroon and the axe so he seeks to place them in the hands of someone else.

[116] The real problem with this approach is there is nobody to hand them to in the case of Loren Leslie. The leatherman is in the pocket of his shorts and the pipe wrench is in the cab of his truck with him as the sole occupant.

[117] I accept the admission inherent in his evidence that he was present at the time and place of the murders of Jill Stuchenko, Natasha Montgomery and Cynthia Maas and that he participated in their murders. The difficulty for Mr. Legebokoff is that he was the only one there.


[118] I turn now to the purpose and principles of sentencing. Those principles have developed over centuries in the common law and are now codified in the Criminal Code of Canada. The fundamental principle is that a sentence must be proportionate to the gravity of the offence and the degree of responsibility of the offender. The fundamental purpose of sentencing is said in the Criminal Code to be to contribute to the respect for law and the maintenance of a just, peaceful and safe society. The object of the sanctions to be imposed are to be one or more of the following –

(1) to denounce unlawful conduct;

(2) to deter unlawful conduct;

(3) to deter the offender and other persons from committing such offences;

(4) to separate offenders from society where necessary;

(5) to assist in rehabilitating offenders;

(6) to provide reparation for harm done to victims or to the community; and finally

(7) to promote a sense of responsibility in offenders and acknowledgment of the harm done to the victims and to the community.

[119] There are other key principles passed by Parliament and now set out in the Criminal Code. One is that a sentence should be similar to sentences imposed upon similar offenders for similar offences committed in similar circumstances. It is also stated in the Criminal Code that an offender should not be incarcerated if less restrictive sanctions may be appropriate in the circumstances. Finally, the Criminal Code mandates that all available sanctions, other than imprisonment, that are reasonable in the circumstances should be considered for all offenders with particular attention to the circumstances of aboriginal offenders.


[120] Mr. Legebokoff will you please stand.

[121] On count 1, the first degree murder of Jill Stacey Stuchenko I am required by law to impose on you a sentence of imprisonment for life without eligibility for parole until you have served twenty-five years of that sentence.

[122] On count 2, the first degree murder of Natasha Lynn Montgomery I am required by law to impose on you a sentence of imprisonment for life without eligibility for parole until you have served twenty-five years of that sentence.

[123] On count 3, the first degree murder of Cynthia Frances Mass I am required by law to impose on you a sentence of imprisonment for life without eligibility for parole until you have served twenty-five years of that sentence.

[124] On count 4, the first degree murder of Loren Donn Leslie I am required by law to impose on you a sentence of imprisonment for life without eligibility for parole until you have served twenty-five years of that sentence.


Section 109

[125] Under the provisions of s. 109(1)(a) I am required, in addition to any other punishment that may be imposed, to make an order prohibiting you from possessing any firearm, crossbow, prohibited weapon, a restricted weapon, prohibited device, ammunition, prohibited ammunition and explosive for life.

Section 487.051

[126] As these four convictions are all primary designated offences within the meaning of s. 487.04 there will be an order in Form 5.03 authorizing the taking of the number of samples of bodily substances that is reasonably required for the purpose of forensic DNA analysis.

Section 491(1)(a)

[127] As a weapon was used in the commission of the offences specified in count 2 (the axe), count 3 (the pickeroon) and count 4 (the pipe wrench and the leatherman), these specified items are forfeited to Her Majesty and shall be disposed of as the Attorney General directs.

December 2, 2011 In Force

[128] The offender has been found guilty of four counts of first degree murder and sentenced to imprisonment for life. The offender is not eligible for parole until November 28, 2035. However, after serving 15 years of the sentence, the offender may apply under s. 745.6 of the Criminal Code for a reduction in the number of years of imprisonment without eligibility for parole. If the jury hearing the application reduces the period of parole ineligibility, the offender may then make an application for parole under the Corrections and Conditional Release Act at the end of that reduced period.

Section 490.012

[129] As all four offences of which the accused has been convicted have been found to be designated offences under s. 490.111 there will be an order in Form 52 requiring Cody Alan Legebokoff to comply with the Sex Offender Information Registration Act for life under the provisions of s. 490.013 (2)(c).

[130] Please be seated Mr. Legebokoff.

[131] I wish to add a few comments to these reasons that relate directly to the nature of these offences.

[132] I wish to emphasize that in each of the three cases in which bodies were recovered, Jill Stuchenko, Cynthia Maas and Loren Leslie, the injuries caused in each case were massive and disfiguring, the object of each attack appearing to be aimed at not simply killing the victims but degrading and destroying them.

[133] For a young man who towered over even the tallest of these victims by something on the order of 8 inches and outweighed even the heaviest by 100 pounds, the use of the weapons he chose was not aimed at any prospect of evening the odds but at the apparent goal of dominating, degrading and destroying the targeted victim.

[134] These are not the actions of a simple killer but something infinitely worse.

[135] This is a man who by his actions has demonstrated the absolute need to be separated from society to protect members of that society and, in particular, the most vulnerable members of that society whom he has targeted.

[136] During the two days of his evidence in this trial Mr. Legebokoff, I believe unintentionally, provided us with a glimpse of what resides within him.

[137] It in every sense of that word begins with his interruptions of Cst. Sidhu during the course of the recording of his arrest for murder. The tone and manner and his constant reference to the body of Loren Leslie as “IT” gives us a glimpse of his attitude towards his targets and the extent to which he lacks, on any level, empathy or remorse.

[138] During his direct evidence his counsel repeatedly tried to humanize the accused and bring out some shred of genuine feeling of remorse. This effort failed miserably.

[139] Early in his direct evidence Mr. Legebokoff was asked about Jill Stuchenko. His evidence, at a point in time when he was presumably attempting to impress the jury again demonstrates his attitude towards his victims:

Q.- Yes. I’m - - I’m asking you, please, to explain in as great detail as you can so the jury can best understand how does it - - you sit down next to this woman, and then sometime later the two of you go off to your bedroom?

A.- I had noticed her earlier on sitting across on the - - when I was on the futon, and she wasn’t really engaged in the conversation of - - conversations of everybody else, and I don’t know if that’s why I sat next to her or, you know, she wasn’t - - she wasn’t an ugly person or ugly - - ugly woman, so I mean I guess I figured I’d try my luck and sit next to her and start talking to her.

Transcript of August 26, 2014, p. 21, lines 5 to 17.

[140] This is not the characterization of a human being socializing but that of a hunter identifying a target.

[141] Within his direct evidence there are also found a large number of passages where Mr. Heller asked him, in a variety of ways, how things made him feel. His responses are, in my view, highly revealing. But a few examples:

Q.- Okay. Then what did you do?

A.- Then that was when I went back to Fort St. James. I never seen “Y” until probably a year later.

Q.- Okay. How did you feel about what you had just done?

A.- I - - I kick myself in the ass every day.

Q.- I’m not talking about now; I’m talking about at the time.

A.- I - - even then - - even then I - - I knew - - I knew what I did wasn’t right, but there wasn’t much I could really - - really do.

Transcript August 26, 2014, p. 31, lines 31 to 41

[142] After X, according to him, attacked Cynthia Maas in his apartment:

Q.- Now [sic] did you feel about the fact that this had just happened in your home and he’s saying he’s got to go?

A.- Obviously I didn’t feel - - feel very good, but, I mean, it was, you know, something had to be done about it.

Transcript August 26, 2014, p. 41, lines 23 to 28.

[143] When asked about how he felt driving to dispose of Cynthia Mass’ body:

Q.- How did you feel?

A.- I didn’t feel good. Not at all.

Q.- Well, you say you didn’t feel good. What - -

A.- I knew it was wrong. That’s what I mean.

Q.- Okay.

A.- But at that point in my life I was, you know, I was smoking the - - I was smoking quite a bit of crack.

Q.- So what?

A.- And you know when you - - when you tend to do a lot of drugs, it - - you don’t necessarily care as much about things, and things that you should care about.

Transcript August 26, 2014, p. 43, lines 9 to 21.

[144] When asked about when he was turning the truck around while Y was dragging Cynthia Maas’ body into the dark after using the pickeroon on her:

Q.- What - - do - - do you recall what you were thinking at the time about what was occurring?

A.- No, I didn’t - - I mean, I didn’t feel very good about what was going on but - - or how I got myself into this mess, but . . .

Q.- Anything further?

A.- No. After that we - - I had just dropped him off at a - - at a house and that was the last time I seen him.

Transcript August 26, 2014, p. 46, lines 24 – 42.

[145] Perhaps the most revealing of this series of answers is found in the next passage:

Q.- Did you have any particular thoughts or feelings about the fact that you had - - that this “X” guy had brought you into these two situations and you had done what you had done?

A.- Well, at that time, I didn’t - - I didn’t expect to be what I actually did was murder, but now sitting here charged with it, I mean, it’s - - no, I don’t feel very - - don’t feel very good about it.

Transcript August 26, 2014, p. 47, lines 34-41.

[146] These are but a few of more than a dozen of these passages in his direct evidence but they are representative of the rest.

[147] It matters not, in my view, that X, Y and Z are fictional or that the substance of his story about them is fabricated. What matters about these passages is that they demonstrate a complete void within Mr. Legebokoff.

[148] He lacks any shred of empathy or remorse.

[149] He should never be allowed to walk among us again.

[150] I cannot end this trial without adding something more. I am aware of comments being made to the effect that there is no need to embark on any formal inquiry into missing and murdered women, that policing is the solution to this problem.

[151] With the greatest of respect to those of a different view, we should all be eternally grateful to a very young and inexperienced police officer whose instincts were sound and on the money. The grief and horrors we heard from the families may well have been simply a precursor to that which would have followed if good luck and fortune had not brought Cst. Kehler to that stretch of Highway 27 on the night of November 27, 2010.

[152] What followed was good sound police work that tried to integrate four separate investigations and bring them to trial. But make no mistake. It was luck that began these events.

[153] Perhaps an even more delicate area I want to say to those First Nations people who have so religiously attended this trial, I know in some small measure the pain and loss you feel, but this is not just a First Nations issue.

[154] I know that First Nations people are far too much as a percentage of the missing and murdered women. They are disproportionately represented in this roll call of misery.

[155] But as the facts of this trial so vividly demonstrate this is not just a First Nations issue. It is a sociological issue, one that arises from, among other things, a high risk lifestyle. It is something which must be dealt with.

[156] The victims of this case represent two members of First Nations descent and two of Caucasian background.

[157] It is a mistake, in my view, to limit the seriousness of this issue and to pretend that policing is an answer when the circumstances of this case raise questions about the effectiveness of that process.

[158] We simply must do better, especially where the commitment to policing is reflected in an 84% cut in the budget for the Highway of Tears task force.

“W. G. Parrett, J.”



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