Lead detective in 1994 double homicide testifies to close Crown case

Retired Calgary Police Detective. George Bushell was the last witness to testify in the trial of double murder suspect Leonard Cochrane.

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Crown prosecutor Carla MacPhail went back to square one on Thursday in closing her cold trial for double homicide by calling the lead investigator into the 1994 crime.

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Retired Calgary Police Detective. George Bushell was the last witness to testify in the trial of double murder suspect Leonard Cochrane.

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Bushell described his arrival at the scene of the fatal shootings of Calgarians Barry Buchart and Trevor Deakins in the early morning hours of July 11, 1994, shortly after the two men had been killed.

“I saw two bodies lying in the living room,” the witness said, describing the basement scene in a 10 Ave. SE duplex.

Bushell said Deakins “was lying on his back with his legs bent. He looked like he fell backwards when he was shot.”

Buchart “was lying face down on the floor of the duplex,” the retired detective said.

The retired detective said the crime scene was chaotic.

“It appeared to me that an altercation took place in the basement indicating blood on a machete and blood on the decedent’s clothing,” Bushell said.

He said he and his then-partner, retired Det. Brian Skeet, arrived at around 4:40 a.m. that day and was at the location for about 40 minutes before leaving for other investigative duties.

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Detective discovered trace of blood outside

But Bushell was on the scene later that morning when he noticed what appeared to be blood outside.

“I looked on the ground towards the door that led to the basement,” he said.

“There appeared to be what looked like a trail of blood.”

He said the trail traveled south from the house and into the gravel alley behind it, before heading west.

The court heard on Wednesday that two drops of blood on a rock in the alleyway were tested for DNA and found to be a Cochrane match.

Cochrane faces two counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of Buchart, 26, and Deakins, 25.

MacPhail also asked the witness to review some photographs from the scene.

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“Is that a photograph showing the location of the bodies?” he asked her, after taking Bushell to a particular exhibit.

“It is,” he replied.

“As you can see in the photograph, Buchart is lying on his stomach on his side and Deakins was lying on his back with his arms up.”

Detective Defense Questions

Under questioning by defense attorney Balfour Der, the witness said it appeared Buchart was dealing drugs from the residence, but Deakins was not.

Bushell also admitted that they investigated many blue vans while searching for the perpetrators.

Eyewitnesses reported that such a vehicle was circulating in the area and was driving down the alleyway shortly before two masked assailants entered the home.

Evidence showed that Cochrane was driving a blue van at the time.

Der told Judge Keith Yamauchi that he will present defense evidence when the trial resumes.

Next Thursday a date will be set to continue with the hearing.

[email protected]

On twitter: @KMartinCourts

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