Acquitted suspect had confessed in axe murder
The jury in the axe murder trial watched a video of someone who has already been acquitted confessing to police that she had killed the victim.
"She (Nicola Puddicombe) didn't do it. I did it," Ashleigh Pechaluk told police officers, court heard Friday.
On Oct. 27, 2006, a detective asked her: "Are you saying to me that you're the person responsible for Dennis Hoy's murder?"
Pechaluk said, "Yes."
When confronted with her words, Pechaluk said Friday she had lied to protect her lover.
The video was not entered into evidence at Pechaluk's trial because the Crown conceded it was it inadmissible, because the police had not advised the suspect of her right to obtain counsel without delay.
A jury acquitted Pechaluk, 25, on a charge of first-degree murder in June. At her trial, Pechaluk had taken the stand to say she did not kill Hoy.
Puddicombe, her 26-year-old former lover, is currently on trial for first-degree murder in the death of Hoy.
Police found the GO Transit officer lying face-down in bed in Puddicombe's apartment on Oct. 27, 2006. He'd been struck in the head with an axe. Pechaluk had been arrested at the scene. Puddicombe's arrest didn't come until mid-May 2007.
In testimony on Thursday, Pechaluk said that Puddicombe had broached the topic of attacking Hoy with a baseball bat as he slept just over a week before the actual murder happened.
Then she proposed that Pechaluk carry out the fatal attack.
"She didn't have the strength and (murder) went against her Catholic beliefs, but for me, it shouldn't be a problem," Pechaluk testified.
"I thought it was crazy. I wasn't going to agree with anything she said, but I didn't say no. I was scared she was serious ... and scared she'd be mad at me because I didn't want to lose her," she said.
"I was shocked and terrified that she wanted me to participate. Her reference to Catholic beliefs -- she didn't go to church regularly -- sounded like an excuse to me."
The two women had met while working at an east-end Loblaws store. They allegedly wanted to kill Hoy for his life insurance and pension money. He didn't live full-time with Puddicombe, whom he had been dating for 11 years, but was staying over because his tires had been slashed.
The Crown alleges that Puddicombe was deeply in debt and that she made a claim on the life insurance money four days after Hoy's death.
The Crown also alleges that the plan had been to blame the murder on an intruder, with Puddicombe saying she was in the shower when the attack happened.
Pechaluk said Thursday that Puddicombe had planned to blame the murder on the tire slasher and tell police that Hoy was a Hells Angels member and had engaged in other criminal activities.
With a report from CTV Toronto's Chris Eby