WARNING: The details in this article may be disturbing to some readers. Discretion is advised.
New details have emerged after a Winnipeg man was found dead in his car in Assiniboine Park – a man who died following what Crown attorneys say was a torturous, vicious and brutal attack, allegedly planned by two rural Manitoba teenagers.
Paul Enns, 43, was found in an Assiniboine Park parking lot in the early morning hours of Feb. 26, 2022.
A 15-year-old girl from Stonewall and a 17-year-old boy from Warren have been charged with robbery and second-degree murder. They cannot be named under the Youth Criminal Justice Act. The charges against them have not been proven in court.
During the girl’s bail hearing on Monday, Crown attorney John Ham alleged the two teens had been planning the attack.
He said the girl had created a social media account and presented herself as a 15-year-old girl. In the hours leading up to Enns’ death, Ham said she communicated with him 106 times by call or text, arranging to meet and requesting money, drugs and jewelry in exchange for sex.
Ham said sometime between 11:30 p.m. and midnight on Feb. 25, Enns was lured to the park.
“Once he arrived in the parking lot, Paul Enns was initially attacked by (the girl), with (the boy) joining in the attack with a baseball bat,” Ham said, adding Enns was stabbed in his torso and legs, and was hit repeatedly with a bat.
The Crown alleged the teens took Enns’ cellphone, keys and wallet before leaving him to die in the back seat of his car. The court heard Enns’ credit card was used the following evening to buy items including shoes and a jacket.
“This was not a merciful death. This was torturous,” Ham said. “The sheer number of injuries inflicted and seriousness of the injuries evidence a brutal, vicious and prolonged attack.”
‘AN INSTRUCTION BOOK ON MURDER’ FOUND IN CO-ACCUSED’S HOME
The court heard a search warrant executed on the home and car of the co-accused in Warren uncovered multiple ‘potential murder weapons’ including a baseball bat found in a closet and a knife found under the passenger seat of the car.
Ham said officers also found what he called an ‘instruction book on murder’ that was hidden in the ceiling panel of the co-accused’s closet. Photo evidence submitted in the hearing also shows what appears to be blood splatters on the girl’s jacket, which was found in the co-accused’s car.
The court heard the two teens were allegedly boastful and unremorseful following Enns’ death.
One of the witnesses in the case, a friend of the 17-year-old boy, submitted a statement saying the teen allegedly tried to recruit them the day before the death.
“He asked me if I was interested in a job,” the witness said in a statement to police, which was read in part during the bail hearing. The witness said they declined, and spoke with him the following day.
“He seemed very proud of it. He was laughing a lot and saying there was no way he was going to get caught because he was smart about it.”
BAIL DENIED FOR TEEN GIRL ACCUSED IN THE DEATH
The Crown said it intends to seek an adult sentence against the girl, and argued she should remain in detention until her trial.
“(She) is not some weak girl who had no choice but to follow her violent boyfriend or someone who was unaware of his plans to rob the deceased. No, she was an active participant,” Ham said in his arguments.
“(She) was the one who started the violence. Her hands are dirty just as much as her co-accused, if not more.”
The girl’s defence lawyer, David Wolfe Walker, argued the reasons Enns was in the park that night should also be taken into account.
“It is not the type of situation such as if somebody was walking a dog in Assiniboine Park and they were jumped,” he said.
It was an argument that Judge Lindy Choy said she “completely and entirely” rejected while delivering her decision on Tuesday.
“We can only speculate as to what lured the victim to that location. We also do not live in a society which condones vigilantism or allows two teenagers to assess the moral compass of its citizens and decide whether or not they should suffer a violent and painful death,” Choy said.
She said the nature of the assault and its ferocity is one which the public would find so shocking as to demand continued detention.
“The vicious and brutal beating she allegedly participated in is not in any way behaviour one would normally expect from a high school student,” Choy said.
“I can only conclude that she is either inherently violent or she is at high risk of being susceptible to negative influences.”
Choy decided to deny bail to the girl, saying detention was necessary to maintain public confidence in the administration of justice.
The co-accused is scheduled to have a bail hearing in early April.
The allegations against the two teens have not been tested in court, and they are considered innocent until proven guilty.
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