WINNIPEG—A Winnipeg man says he chopped his roommate’s body into pieces and scattered the parts around town because he panicked after discovering him dead.
Emery McLeod, 40, took the witness stand in his own defence Thursday.
He denied killing 42-year-old Darin Monias and said he got scared when he found him dead following a weekend filled with drugs and hard liquor in February 2012.
McLeod has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder.
Crown attorney Brian Bell grilled McLeod, pointing out numerous times in his videotaped police interview where he changed his story about what happened.
McLeod initially denied any involvement after police confronted him after finding two hands belonging to Monias in a downtown garbage bin.
Other body parts were located by police and citizens over the next couple of months, although one key piece of Monias was never found.
“Do you know where you put the head?” Bell asked him.
“No, I don’t,” McLeod replied.
McLeod said the weekend began with him crushing 40 Xanax pills and snorting them—a move that left him in an extreme state of intoxication. He also said he consumed large amounts of Crown Royal, vodka and beer.
He and Monias—who worked together at a farm chemicals company—decided to engage in some “UFC-style” wrestling inside the apartment suite. This came after drinking and listening to heavy metal music which they “slam-danced” to, he said.
McLeod said he put Monias in a wrist lock, an ankle lock and a “rear naked chokehold” which left the victim gasping for breath and “tapping out.” He said he got up, celebrated his win and then passed out.
He woke up several hours later to find Monias dead.
“It was just, oh my God, this was beyond my reasoning, I had to somehow make it all go away,” McLeod told jurors Thursday. “I couldn’t exactly call up a friend and ask him to help me get rid of a corpse.”
McLeod said he’d worked at Maple Leaf Foods and saw animals cut up in the slaughterhouse. So he grabbed some tools he’d kept from the job, including a boning knife and an axe, and cut up Monias’s body, stuffing the remains in several bags. He also cleaned up his apartment, although a huge pool of blood was found by police.
“It was all in a blur,” said McLeod. He was asked if he ever meant to kill Monias.
“Absolutely not,” he replied. “He was like a gentle giant of a big, hard man. I’ll always remember him as a brother. A good friend.”