Winnipeg man admits to killing four women, argues he’s not criminally responsible

Defence lawyers of Jeremy Skibicki have admitted in court the accused killed four Indigenous women, but argues he is not criminally responsible for the deaths by way of mental disorder – this latest development has triggered a judge-alone trial rather than a jury trial.

“At this point, the accused is now admitting that he killed all four women, and that is a new development,” Crown prosecutor Chris Vanderhooft told Manitoba’s Court of King’s Bench Monday morning.

Skibicki is charged with four counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of Rebecca Contois, Morgan Harris, Marcedes Myran, and an unidentified woman who Indigenous leaders have given the name Mashkode Bizhiki’ikwe or Buffalo Woman.

He has pleaded not guilty.

The partial remains of Contois were found in a garbage bin and Winnipeg’s Brady Landfill in 2022. Police said they believe the remains of Myran and Harris are in the Prairie Green Landfill outside of Winnipeg. The remains of the fourth woman have not been found.

Chief Justice Glenn Joyal, who is presiding over the case, confirmed with Skibicki’s defence lawyer Leonard Tailleur.

“Am I correct in assuming that, for the record, that you – on behalf of Mr. Skibicki – Mr. Tailleur, are admitting that Skibicki caused the deaths of all four victims… and that he caused them unlawfully?” Joyal asked.

“Yes,” Tailleur responded.

While Skibicki has now admitted to the killings, the court has heard the accused’s defence team plan to argue he is not criminally responsible for them by way of mental disorder.

Given the new developments in the case, Crown prosecutors told the court they will now consent to having the trial heard by judge alone.

Joyal said the trial will now hinge on Skibicki’s mental capacity and intent in the killings.

The trial will now proceed without the jury, beginning on Wednesday.

This is a developing story. More to come. 

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