Basil Borutski has been found guilty of murdering three women—two of whom were his ex-girlfriends—in a shooting rampage in Wilno, Ontario in 2015.
Borutski, 60, was found guilty of two counts of first-degree murder for shooting to death Anastasia Kuzyk, 36, and Nathalie Warmerdam, 48, and one count of second-degree murder for strangling Carol Culleton, 66 on September 22, 2015.
The murders are one of the worst cases of intimate partner violence in Canadian history.
Borutski was convicted in Ontario’s Superior Court by a jury who deliberated for 14 hours.
According to media reports, Borutski said “I’m not guilty” as the trial wrapped up and deliberations began.
But the court heard a confession tape, in which Borutski, in reference to Warderdam, told an Ontario Provincial Police detective, "I just drove in, walked in the door, she was sitting there, she went around the corner, I followed her. Boom. That was it.”
He also said the three women were not innocent and complained about being abused by the criminal justice system.
Borutski left his Palmer Rapids home on the morning of September 22, 2015, taking with him a sawed off shotgun. Despite being ordered to give up his license, Borutski managed to borrow his neighbour’s car and drive to Culleton’s place.
There, according to Borutski’s police confession, he broke into Culleton’s house hit her with a TV cable coil and strangled her with it.
“I wrapped it around her head. And she just kept saying, 'This is not you, Basil, this is not you,’” he said, as reported by the CBC. The Crown said Culleton had previously rejected Borutski.
After killing her, he stole her car and drove to Kuzyk’s house.
Months before the murders he had been released from jail on an assault conviction against Kuzyk. According to CBC News, he was meant to serve 17 months but ended up being released after five due to credit for time served. He was under a lifetime weapons ban. Upon release, he reportedly refused to sign an order barring him from contacting Kuzyk, but was still let go.
Kuzyk’s sister Eva testified in court that she heard Kuzyk scream and then whisper “It’s Basil.” She said after showing up at the door, Borutski went back outside to retrieve his gun and then came back into the house.
“I thought, we are both going to die,” she testified. She said she heard the gun go off and she ran outside.
“I ran for my life,” she told the court.
Borutski then drove another half hour to Warmerdam’s house.
Borutski was previously accused of assaulting Warmerdam. Because of him, Warmerdam carried with her a personal alarm and tracking device that connected her directly to police, her son told the Ottawa Citizen. According to CBC, she also slept with a shotgun under her bed and had video surveillance.
Her son Adrian testified that he saw his mother being chased by Borutski inside the house. When he saw that Borutski was holding a gun, he ran outside of the house.
“I ran out into the bush and I called 911 and waited for police,” he said, adding he heard a gunshot as he made his escape.
Borutski told the OPP “it was funny, it was like I wasn't even pulling the trigger on the gun, the gun was just going off. It was like, boop.”
Borutski was arrested around 2:30 PM that day.
He chose to represent himself in court, but according to media reports remained mostly silent throughout the proceedings.
According the the CBC on Wednesday he interrupted Justice Robert Maranger while the judge was instructions to the jury to ask if he had “missed” his opportunity to present his case.
Maranger replied that he’d been given ample opportunities to call evidence throughout the proceedings.
Borutski’s sentencing is scheduled for the first week of December.
Correction: A previous version of this story identified all three victims as Borutski's ex-girlfriends. In fact, only Warmerdam and Kuzyk were involved with him.
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