Accused in triple slaying 'intellectually, cognitively intact,' forensic psychologist testifies

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Cory Fenn reads while seated in the prisoner’s box in Superior Court in Oshawa in September. Seated in the background are Crown attorneys Dave Slessor and Mike Newell.  (Pam Davies/CBC - image credit)
Cory Fenn reads while seated in the prisoner’s box in Superior Court in Oshawa in September. Seated in the background are Crown attorneys Dave Slessor and Mike Newell. (Pam Davies/CBC - image credit)

A man on trial for the deaths of a woman and her two children in Ajax was "intellectually and cognitively intact" during the time of the killings, court heard Wednesday.

Forensic psychiatrist Dr. Philip Klassen testified that he met with accused killer Cory Fenn five times after his arrest in 2018.

Klassen told the court he believes Fenn was "intellectually and cognitively intact," and said he had not diagnosed him with a major mental illness.

While Klassen was able to assess Fenn, he told court he was not fully satisfied with the process as he was unable to speak about Fenn with any of his family or friends.

"My assessment is not as comprehensive as I would've liked it to be," Klassen said.

Fenn, 33, is charged with three counts of second-degree murder in the killings of Krassimira Pejcinovski, her 15-year-old son, Roy, and her daughter, Venellia, 13, from three years ago.

Fenn has pleaded not guilty and is acting as his own defence, after firing his former attorney Mary Cremer, who has been kept on to assist him by request of the trial's judge.

Klassen added he was also concerned Fenn had not been fully truthful in his self-report, in which Fenn said he was under psychosis.

In a video interview with a Durham Regional Police officer, Fenn said he was in a "cocaine psychosis" at the time of the killings.

"I'm sick, I don't want to remember anything," Fenn told Det. Mark Pillman after his arrest. "I shouldn't have to sit here, I shouldn't be living … I ruined people's lives."

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Text messages between Fenn and Ryan Furze, who at one point had been in a relationship with Pecjinovski, were also shown in court Wednesday.

Furze testified the pair's relationship had ended before Pecjinovski started to date Fenn, but then on Valentine's Day in 2018, Pecjinovski called him and asked if he would like to go to dinner, adding that she was single.

The two went out, he said, and then several days later he started getting threatening text messages from Fenn, which said things like "I will f--k you up."

Furze said the messages didn't stop, even after he explained to Fenn that he had no intention of going out with Pecjinovski again.

Co-workers testify Fenn could be jealous, violent

Court also heard from Pejcinovski's co-workers Tuesday, who said Fenn was jealous and violent at times during the pair's on-and-off-again relationship.

Part of Klassen's testimony centred around when Sherry Robinson, who was Pejcinovski's boss, visited the Hilling Drive home in Ajax on the morning of March 14 after Pejcinovski didn't show up for work. Fenn answered the door out of breath, with blood on his arm and turned her away, saying Pejcinovski was sick but that he would have her call, Robinson said.

The two reported the encounter differently. Robinson said she knew something was wrong and was fearful Fenn may have hurt Pejcinovski, so she got back in her car and drove down the street to call police. When questioned by police, Robinson said she did not believe Fenn looked impaired at the time.

But Klassen said in Fenn's self-report, he described being "totally out of it" when he answered Robinson at the door. He said he did not recognize her and reported his "words didn't make sense," and "weren't English."

"The issue for me with Fenn's report is it doesn't appear to be similar to Robinson's," Klassen said. "Typically if you're severely psychotic, that would be detected by others."

Klassen said Fenn did, however, meet both criteria of personality disorder and substance use disorder, as he reported suffering heavy substance use of alcohol and cocaine.

Fenn described feeling "invincible" while high on cocaine to Klassen, court heard.

"The gestalt of it was the whole kind of mix of use of cocaine, selling cocaine, sex and gambling had taken over his life," Klassen said.

Teen who was at the home during killings testifies

In court's afternoon session, Sylvia Verestoy, who was 13-years-old at the time, testified that she was sleeping over the Pecjinovski home on the night of March 13, which was the day before police were called to the home.

Verestoy, who was a friend of Venellia's, said she doesn't recall hearing anything that night.

She said the pair didn't go to sleep until after midnight, but she woke up at around 10:30 a.m. to Venellia's phone blowing up with texts and calls from her sister Victoria, who was not home at the time, asking her to go check on their mom.

Verestoy then woke Venellia up and she went downstairs to check on her mom, leaving Verestoy alone in her friend's bedroom on the second floor.

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Later, Verestoy heard loud footsteps from someone walking up the stairs and breathing heavily. Verestoy testified that she saw Fenn look into Victoria's room, then into the bathroom, and then Roy's room. Finally, he came to Venellia's room where he stood at the doorway, she testified.

"He asked me where Victoria was," Verestoy said. "I said I was not sure."

Fenn then went back downstairs, court heard, and Verestoy described hearing some chatter. Verestoy said she remained on the top floor and did not go downstairs that morning. The now 17-year-old said Fenn appeared to look normal and she didn't notice anything unusual in his balance or how he spoke.

Verestoy said she didn't know what had gone on at the home until police officers showed up and took her to the police station.

The trial continues Thursday, when the Crown is expected to wrap up its case.

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