An undercover police officer befriended an accused murderer for 10 months before getting from him what the accused calls a “false confession” in the killing of a 12-year-old boy, according to a Crown witness, who is also co-accused with the murder.
Glen Kadlak Jr., 25, one of two people charged in the death of the boy in Rankin Inlet in 2017, testified in the second-degree murder trial of his co-accused, who is under 18 and whose identity cannot be published under a court order.
The youth’s trial began Tuesday. Kadlak, who also faces a second-degree murder charge in the killing, has his own next court appearance Sept. 26.
Crown lawyer Paul McDermott questioned Kadlak on Wednesday, largely about his relationship with an undercover police officer and confession to the killing.
Kadlak testified he met a man named Jason in a holding cell in December 2017. At that point, police had arrested Kadlak but didn’t charge him then in connection with the child’s death.
He and Jason were released about 30 minutes apart, Kadlak said, and became friends.
He said he and Jason travelled together, mainly throughout Manitoba, doing carpentry and electrical work.
About a month before Kadlak was arrested in October 2018 for a second time, Jason and his friends began asking Kadlak more and more about the boy’s death, Kadlak testified.
He testified Jason told him if he didn’t confess, he would lose his job.
Kadlak said he made up a confession, inventing details of the killing including that the youth, his co-accused, was involved.
Kadlak testified he told the officers that he met the young victim at the nickel mine near Rankin Inlet, knocked him out and beat him with rocks before his co-accused stabbed the victim five or six times.
“I made it up in my head,” Kadlak said of his confession.
Asked why he included the accused youth’s name in his confession, Kadlak said the co-accused youth had lost a lot of weight in the two weeks that had passed since the victim’s body was found in a trailer, and people in town were beginning to suspect Kadlak was the killer.
“If you lose that amount of weight, it has to do something with stress and you’re thinking of something that is making you go crazy day and night,” Kadlak testified.
He also said he was trying to tell RCMP officers to investigate the youth’s involvement in the murder, but police didn’t believe him.
So, he said, “I made a lie saying I was involved in the murder.”
In his cross-examination, defence lawyer Scott Cowan, representing the co-accused youth on trial, said Kadlak’s version of events had changed over time.
“The first version you gave Jason [the undercover officer] was about you acting totally alone. You told him that you were drunk, right? That you saw [the victim] at the nickel mine and that you beat them, right?” Cowan said.
“You insisted that you did it alone, right?”
Cowan said Kadlak didn’t tell police that the co-accused youth was involved until officers informed Kadlak they knew there was a second person.
“And they tell you, if you don’t tell us this other person there, we’re going to kick you out of the operation. And then you say [the co-accused youth] was there,” Cowan said, to which Kadlak agreed.
Cowan accused Kadlak of lying about several details, including that he wrapped the victim’s body in bubblewrap and put plywood on top of it.
Kadlak agreed that he had lied.
Kadlak also agreed he had lied when he told police the co-accused youth had cut and stabbed the victim.
“You’re making this up, right, the part about [the co-accused youth] slashing and stabbing him, aren’t you?” Cowan asked, to which Kadlak said yes.
The trial, presided over by judge Susan Cooper, continues Thursday.
David Venn, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Nunatsiaq News