In a concerning turn of events, charges of first-degree murder have been levied against two individuals and a third charged with second-degree murder, surrounding the brutal homicide of a Brandon man that took place last year.
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) communicated the aforementioned charges Tuesday morning. These charges come in connection with the death of James Vernon Giesbrecht. Disposable evidence linking the suspects to the crime was found in the trunk of an incinerated Honda Accord, located in the rural municipality of Cornwallis on October 13, 2022.
The grizzly discovery prompted a response from the RCMP, a forensic anthropologist, and the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner who collectively worked to identify the remains and determine the cause of death. As of January 2023, the remains were successfully recognized as those of Giesbrecht, whose death was subsequently classified as a homicide. This identification came shortly after Giesbrecht was reported missing.
Superintendent Rob Lasson from the RCMP Major Crime Services colorfully painted a picture of the victim stating, “James Vernon Giesbrecht was only 37 when he died. He lived in Brandon his whole life. He was a proud father, brother, son, who worked hard to support and spend time with his loved ones in Brandon.”
In the course of their investigation, the RCMP discovered that the aforementioned Honda Accord had been stolen from Regina. Though they managed to identify the individual responsible for the theft, they concluded that said individual had no involvement in the homicide. However, they learned one of the suspects obtained possession of the stolen vehicle after the fact.
Enlisting the help of the public, the RCMP was able to gather invaluable leads. Armed with this information, RCMP criminal analysts worked diligently to solidify connections to the suspects.
With the aid of the Brandon Police Service, RCMP officers successfully apprehended three men on Monday; Redstone Wombdiska, 28, at the Headingley Correctional Centre, Joseph Lindsay, 36, at Stony Mountain Institution – both charged with first-degree murder, and Christopher Cutlip, 40, was arrested at the Brandon Correctional Centre and charged with second-degree murder.
Superintendent Rob Lasson, while addressing a press conference on Tuesday, asserted, “To lay a first-degree murder charge, there’s a high threshold that needs to be met.” He went on to elucidate their investigation and how the investigators navigated through complex circumstances to secure the severe charges.
He characterized the homicide as both calculated and meticulously planned. He further revealed that Giesbrecht and the accused were known to each other and that Giesbrecht had been lured into a lethal trap. Efforts to seek out other suspects associated with this horrific crime have been curtailed.
While the charges remain unproven in court, the three accused remain in custody.