a man wearing a suit and tie: Police say the remains of 30-year-old Toronto resident Melissa Cooper were found outside of Charlie's Meat and Seafood in downtown Toronto in mid-April.


© Toronto Police Service/Handout
Police say the stays of 30-year-old Toronto resident Melissa Cooper have been discovered outdoors of Charlie’s Meat and Seafood in downtown Toronto in mid-April.

A 41-year-old Toronto man on trial for second-degree homicide admitted in court docket on Tuesday he dismembered the physique of Melissa Cooper however says the 30-year-old died of an overdose.

Taking the stand in his personal defence, Albert Ian Ohab additionally instructed the jury, his live-in girlfriend had died of a fentanyl overdose in the identical condominium, simply months previous to Cooper’s loss of life.

The girlfriend’s loss of life was deemed an unintentional overdose and Ohab instructed the court docket he “didn’t wish to take care of the repercussions” of Cooper’s loss of life.

Ohab testified he bumped into Cooper on the elevator of his Toronto Neighborhood Housing constructing at 220 Oak St. round 1:30 on the morning of April 15, 2016. He mentioned she requested him for a crack pipe as a result of she had crack cocaine and needed to smoke it. Ohab invited Cooper again to his condominium the place he had a pipe, acknowledging to the court docket that he was a ordinary drug use.

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Ohab instructed the jury he knew Cooper from across the constructing, a location he known as “a drug den.” He mentioned the 2 of them had interacted earlier than and he knew she typically stayed with individuals who lived within the constructing.

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Ohab testified he gave Cooper some vodka and a beer earlier than she smoked crack cocaine within the his condominium on the 23rd flooring a short while later.

Ohab mentioned he additionally took a success of crack from his personal pipe. The jury noticed surveillance video from 2:28 a.m. that confirmed Cooper on the elevator, getting off on the 15th flooring.

He testified in court docket, he went to purchase heroin from a seller who lived on the ground. When he got here again, he mentioned Cooper was within the washroom and mentioned she was “okay.” He mentioned he then shot up heroin earlier than he handed out.

Ohab testified he woke round between eight and 9 a.m. on April 15 and located Cooper mendacity on the lounge flooring. He mentioned he smelled vomit.

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“It didn’t look proper. Discolouration within the face. I touched her and he or she was chilly. I felt her pulse on her neck. It was chilly. I freaked out,” the jury heard Ohab say.

Ohab defined to the court docket he was nonetheless coping with the repercussions of his girlfriend’s loss of life on January 20, 2016 and determined to place Cooper’s physique within the stairwell of the constructing quite than name paramedics.

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“It was the proper storm. The toilet was proper there. My girlfriend had simply died in that condominium just a little over two months earlier. One other particular person had simply died in my condominium. I can’t take care of this.” Ohab instructed the court docket.

Ohab additionally testified that others within the constructing beforehand instructed him he shouldn’t have known as EMS when his girlfriend overdosed. He instructed the court docket he was instructed that dumping somebody who has overdosed within the stairwell was a extra widespread option to take care of that sort of scenario. In response to his testimony, Ohab mentioned he was working underneath “panic and concern.”

“Cooper was useless. I used to be left together with her stays and I felt chargeable for her stays,” he mentioned.

Ohab testified he dragged Cooper to the entrance door and needed to place her within the stairwell however the next-door neighbour was popping out so he shut his door.

He mentioned he realized he couldn’t transfer her to the stairwell, so he determined to place her within the rest room.

“I put her within the tub. I began freaking out. I considered calling for assist,” Ohab instructed the jury, including he knew investigators would see he moved the physique. He defined issues weren’t good after the overdose loss of life of his girlfriend.

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“I had eviction papers. They took my automobile. There have been rumours within the constructing saying I killed (my girlfriend). I’m so sorry for this taking place,” Ohab mentioned.

Defence lawyer Philip Klumak requested Ohab if he dismembered Cooper’s physique. Ohab admitted he did.

At first of the trial, Ohab pleaded responsible to the cost of indignity to a human physique by dismemberment.

Crown lawyer Bev Richards instructed the jury previous to Ohab taking the stand that the decrease half of Cooper’s torso was present in a rubbish bin behind Charlie’s Meat Store at 383 Broadview Ave on April 19, 2016. Her arm was found in a bag on a conveyor belt at a North York recycling plant in early Might 2016.

Richards mentioned the remainder of Cooper’s physique has by no means been found. Investigators mentioned a explanation for loss of life was by no means decided as a result of not sufficient of Cooper’s physique was recovered.

Ohab was initially charged with first-degree homicide however on Tuesday, Justice Suhail Akhtar instructed the jury, “For authorized causes that don’t actually concern you, you’ll now solely be deliberating on the offence of second-degree homicide.”

The trial continues.

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