CALGARY - A man has admitted to causing the death of a 62-year-old Alberta bylaw officer and then dropping him off, handcuffed and unconscious, at a police station.
But the defence lawyer for Trevor Kloschinsky says her client is not criminally responsible in the death of Rod Lazenby on a rural property near Calgary in August 2012.
"The accused caused the death of community peace officer Lazenby while Lazenby was acting in the course of his duties," Crown prosecutor Jim Sawa read in court Monday from an agreed statement of facts. "Mr. Kloschinsky has a fixed belief that Lazenby suffered a heart attack during the struggle."
Kloschinsky, 49, is charged with first-degree murder. He has pleaded not guilty.
Lazenby, a retired RCMP officer who was responsible for enforcing bylaws in the Municipal District of Foothills, died after going to Kloschinsky's property near Priddis to investigate a dog complaint.
Const. Brent Schorn testified Kloschinsky was "very distraught" when he arrived at a southeast Calgary police station in Lazenby's peace officer vehicle.
Const. Joe Deigner said Kloschinsky was concerned that someone had tried to steal his dogs.
"He approached the counter. He wanted to complain about his dogs being stolen," Deigner testified. "He said he caught the person. He said we better check him — 'he looks rough.'"
"He said: 'I took the matter into my own hands,'" Schorn recalled.
Schorn went out to check the vehicle. Lazenby was in the back seat.
"He appeared unresponsive. He appeared deceased."
The officer was rushed to hospital, but died hours later.
Court heard an autopsy found Lazenby was strangled and had 56 abrasions, contusions and lacerations to the face, head, neck, body and back. He also suffered numerous internal injuries.
Kloschinsky, wearing glasses, a brown suit and sporting a full beard, was allowed to attend court without handcuffs and sat quietly throughout Monday's proceedings.
Lazenby was an RCMP officer for 35 years and often worked undercover in Vancouver. He once bunked with child killer Clifford Olson and went after dangerous drug dealers on Vancouver’s skid row. Lazenby joined the drug squad after he served as a military policeman.
He had retired in 2006 and moved to High River, Alta., to be closer to his daughter and her children.
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By Bill Graveland, The Canadian Press