Man accused of killing Christine Wood testifies she came at him with knife

Christine Wood
The house in Winnipeg where police believe Christine Wood was killed. Court exhibit

The man accused of killing Christine Wood in Manitoba says he blacked out before realizing she was dead on his basement floor.

Brett Overby, 32, has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder in the death of 21-year-old Wood.

Wood had travelled to Winnipeg from Oxford House First Nation in northern Manitoba in the summer of 2016.

She was staying with her parents in a hotel and Crown prosecutors argue Wood met Overby through the online dating site PlentyofFish.

Her body was found nearly a year later in a ditch outside the city.

Overby has testified that Wood was pressuring him to have sex without a condom and came at him with a knife.

He told a jury that she somehow ended up in a pool of blood on the floor and he never intended to hurt or kill her.

Court previously heard that two messages sent from Wood’s Facebook account led them to Overby’s home in January 2017.

Thomas Guenther, one of the detectives assigned to Wood’s case, testified on Wednesday police were eventually able to determine only one device,  believed to be Overby’s cellphone, was connected to his WIFI on the night in question.

Police were able to trace the IP address used as one belonging to Overby.

Christine Wood

(Christine Wood in an undated photo)

The former common-law partner of the man accused of killing Christine Wood told a Winnipeg courtroom last week he asked her to lie to police for him.

Shirley Houle says she received text messages from Overby asking her to say she didn’t know anything about his online dating account.

Houle was questioned by police on Feb. 1, 2017, shortly after Overby became a person of interest in the case.

In one part Houle wrote, “Gotta go in tomorrow morning for a video statement.”

Overby responded, “Oh shit really?? Wtf? Wonder why. Im actually really nervous about this whole situation. Im getting like anxiety and shit about it..I don’t even know her.”

Later in the conversation Overby wrote, “Do me a favour, u don’t know about anything i do anymore k? I DIDN’T do anything, its just im really nervous and would like them to stop bugging me.”

He went on to write, “U don’t know about POF either k.”

Read the complete court record of text messages: Houle Overby interaction

Houle says the couple were together almost 10 years before they broke up in March 2016.

The Crown argued Wood went to Overby’s home on Aug. 19, 2016 and that was the last place she was alive.

Wood was visiting Winnipeg from her home community of Bunibonibee Cree Nation when she went missing.

Her parents last saw her at a hotel. She told them she was going to meet up with friends.

Two days later they filed a missing persons report with Winnipeg police.

Police executed a search of Overby’s house on Mar. 22, 2017 where he was arrested. He was later charged on Apr. 7.


Last Thursday, court also heard from a detective who conducted forensic examinations on a computer seized from Overby’s home.

Jason Joseph testified he was able to go through the computer’s hard drive and forwarded the information to homicide investigators.

He said one image was found and investigators asked him to locate other similar images.

Three photos showing Wood and Overby together in his home were entered into evidence earlier this week.

In a police video shown on the opening day of the trial, Overby denied knowing Wood when police questioned him about her.

Joseph located the three photos but testified the originals were not found on the computer.

“I suspect it was deleted… it is my opinion it was deleted off the original device,” said Joseph.

(Christine Wood and Brett Overby. Court Exhibit)

Court has previously heard crown prosecutors believe Wood used Overby’s cellphone on the night she disappeared.

That particular device has never been found.

Joseph testified forensic evidence proved the pictures were taken on a cellphone but he could not confirm when they were taken.

The photos are undated and information about where they came from has yet to be disclosed. Court exhibit)

It appears the clothing Wood is wearing is the same clothing her parents last saw her in.

Both Melinda and George Wood testified Christine bought a green bandeau top, a navy lacy top and dark denim shorts on the day she disappeared.

The trial is expected to run until May 17.

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-with files from The Canadian Press