BY LORI CULBERT, VANCOUVER SUN
May 26, 2010
METRO VANCOUVER -- The DNA of two murdered sex-trade workers was found in Davey Butorac's car and on his shoes, the Crown said in its opening address to the jury.
Butorac's murder trial began Wednesday in New Westminster Supreme Court before a jury of six men and six women.
Butorac, 31, of Langley, was arrested in January 2008 and charged with second-degree murder in the deaths of two women, Gwendolyn Jo Lawton and Sheryl Lynn Koroll.
Crown Attorney Matthew Stacey laid out for the jury the evidence the prosecution expects its witnesses will testify about during the trial.
Stacey said the Crown's case will be based on forensic evidence found in Butorac's Chevrolet Cavelier and on his shoes.
Stacey said the jury would hear that "Gwendolyn Lawton's blood was found at several locations in the trunk of Mr. Butorac's Cavelier."
The jury would also hear, the prosecutor said, that Koroll's DNA was found in the trunk, on the passenger-side door, and on Butorac's shoes.
Furthermore, the Crown will try to prove that a tire mark left on Koroll's wrist came from the Cavelier.
Stacey said the Crown would call several witnesses, including Butorac's father Frank, to testify that the accused never let anyone else drive his car.
The defence did not make an opening statement. Butorac has pleaded not guilty.
Forty-six-year-old Lawton, of Abbotsford, was found dead off a gravel road in Abbotsford in March 2007.
The body of Koroll, 50, of Langley, was found in an industrial area of Langley on July 7, 2007. Both women were involved in the sex trade and struggled with a drug addiction
Butorac listened closely this morning from the prisoner's box, wearing a white patterned dress shirt, as the trial began with the judge giving opening directions to the jury.
The first witness, a RCMP officer with the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team, described the rural scene where Lawton's body was found.
The trial continues Thursday.
© Copyright (c) The Vancouver Sun
Monday, May 31
Thursday, May 27, 2010
In a written ruling she read to the court, Alberta Court of Queen's Bench Judge Christine Eidsvik said the Crown has proved that the 42-year-old would likely cause injury and pain in the future and that he is unable to control his sexual impulses.
"He has a pathology for which there is no cure," Eidsvik said.
When the judge declared Svekla a dangerous offender, he simply looked at his mother in the courtroom and shrugged his shoulders.
Svekla's family refused comment outside court.
Svekla was convicted in June 2008 of second-degree murder in the death of sex-trade worker Theresa Innes.
He was also found guilty of sexual assault and uttering threats in September 2008 in a case involving another woman, and in March 2009 was found guilty of sexual interference and sexual assault in a 1995 case involving a five-year-old girl.
He is serving a life sentence with no chance of parole for 17 years. The dangerous-offender designation means Svekla will remain in prison indefinitely.
"It is remarkable the number of people he has injured and harmed," Eidsvik said.
A psychiatric report presented in December at Svekla's dangerous-offender hearing suggested he is a psychopath who is at a high risk of re-offending.
Right decision: CrownSvekla's lawyer, Mona Duckett, had argued in favour of a long-term offender designation, which would mean he would be eventually released, but face a mandatory 10-year supervision period after that with special programs and intense community supervision.
Crown prosecutor Ashley Finlayson said the judge's decision was ultimately the right one.
"In our opinion, Mr. Svekla was a person with a history of violence against women, and based on the evidence that we had and which we called in court, it was our view he would not have been manageable in the community had he been released," he said.
Kathy King, an advocate for sex-trade workers, said she was relieved with Svekla's designation.
King's 22-year-old daughter, Caralyn, disappeared from the streets of Edmonton in 1997. Her body was found in a canola field in Sherwood Park, east of Edmonton, in September of that year.
"I am relieved that whatever happens with the appeal, he will not be out on the streets, because I really truly believe that the women of Edmonton deserve protection from that man," King said.
King said she would still like to know whether Svekla is responsible for her daughter's death.
There are currently 415 dangerous offenders in Canada, according to statistics from the Correctional Service of Canada.
With files from CBC's Janice Johnston and Briar Stewart
Read more: http://www.cbc.ca/canada/edmonton/story/2010/05/27/edmonton-svekla-dangerous-offender.html#ixzz0pZVsX7bV
Last Updated: Thursday, May 27, 2010 | 8:33 PM MT
Thomas Svekla, who is serving a life sentence for killing an Alberta prostitute, was declared a dangerous offender Thursday by a judge in Edmonton.