Carol Culleton’s boyfriend and two friends told court today they were worried about her.
Basil Borutski is accused of the first-degree murders of Culleton, Anastasia Kuzyk, and Nathalie Warmerdam in 2015.
Ron Ethier had been helping Culleton fix her Kamaniskeg Lake Cottage. He testified in court that about a week before her death, he met Basil, who had been doing work she did not ask for or want.
Ethier said Basil left and returned to the cottage twice that night, and despite an offer of a ride home, he asked for permission to stay the night. Culleton agreed that he could stay in a trailer on the property.
Echoing other claims in court that Basil had shown up at her North Gower home unannounced, Ethier testified that he told Culleton she had a stalker.
Ethier went on to say that, the day before her death, Basil once again showed up at her cottage, and Culleton made it clear she didn’t want him to come back.
Basil was upset, and Culleton received texts later that night saying bad karma would happen to her.
Culleton told Ethier she would go inside her cottage, lock the doors, and call police if anything happened.
During Ethier’s testimony Borutski tapped loudly on the glass of his prisoner’s box several times.
He pointed to a pencil near the friend of the court appointed to him to make sure he gets a fair trial. Once Borutski had the pencil, he started writing notes on a piece of paper.
Borutski has remained silent throughout the trial so far, the lawyer appointed to him called these actions ‘a significant issue,’ and the jury and Ethier were asked to leave the courtroom.
When the jury returned the friend of the court asked a few questions of Ethier on behalf of Borutski.
Another friend of Culleton’s, James Kelly, also appeared as a witness in court today.
Kelly testified that he was not only a friend of Culleton’s, but also a friend of Borutski’s from 2002 to 2004.
Kelly testified that Borutski got into an argument with Culleton after she sat on his leg, which caused him to leave the cottage.
A couple weeks after that, Borutski showed up unannounced at Kelly’s home, to ask if he wanted a relationship with Culleton. Kelly said no. He also testified that Borutski spoke to him about the other two victims at that time.
The last witness to take the stand today was Culleton’s boyfriend, Robin Craig, who testified a man, who she had been in a relationship with in the past, had been helping her out around the cottage. He testified that the man had sent Culleton a number of texts the weekend before her death, and told her she should call the police.
Craig received a text from Culleton the night before her death, saying the man had shown up at her cottage, but got mad and left. He said he recommended that she come home, but that she didn’t.
The next day, Culleton texted Craig ‘good morning.’ Having heard about the murders, Craig texted Culleton again after noon, but did not receive a reply. A second text message later in the day also went unanswered.
Under cross examination, Craig told the court Culleton had been happy with a lot of the work done at the cottage, and that the man didn’t threaten her.
Borutski is representing himself in the trial, and a not guilty plea has been entered on his behalf. The trial resumes tomorrow.
**With files from Andreas Pandikiu