Evidence of cocaine was detected in blood samples from accused killer Cory Fenn shortly after a triple slaying in Ajax in 2018, court heard Monday.
Karen Woodall, an expert in forensic toxicology for more than 20 years, testified that she analyzed blood samples from the three victims and Fenn.
Fenn has pleaded not guilty at the judge-alone trial to three counts of second-degree murder in the deaths of Krassimira Pejcinovski, 39, as well as her 15-year-old son Roy and 13-year-old daughter Venallia.
A concentration of the compound benzoylecgonine, which is found in the body after cocaine use, was detected in Fenn's blood sample and urine, court heard.
Woodall said the concentration identified in his blood meant the drug was used sometime within 12 hours of the sample being taken.
"Once cocaine has broken down into this other substance, it is no longer active in the body," Woodall said. "[It] is a tricky drug to analyze and interpret because its very very unstable."
Woodall said if large amounts of cocaine were used, she would expect to see a higher quantity of the substance than what was found.
Cocaine was also detected in the blood of Roy Pejcinovski, she said. Woodall said the sample was tested more than once, and a "very low" concentration of cocaine was identified each time.
Woodall said while it's unusual to find cocaine in the blood of individuals not using the drug, it is likely that the amount detected was a result of contamination. She said it is highly unlikely the young boy had ingested it voluntarily.
Woodall also said that "recreational" amounts of cocaine and alcohol were found in Krassimira Pejcinovski's system.
No alcohol or cocaine were detected in Venallia's blood samples.
Key video statement 'voluntary,' deems judge
As well, a three-hour video interview, which a Durham Regional Police detective conducted with Fenn at a police station the day after the killings, was deemed admissible evidence Monday.
Superior Court Justice Howard Leibovich said the statement given by Fenn in an interview with Durham Det. Mark Pillman was "voluntary," and will be entered as evidence. The video had been the subject of what's known as a voir dire — a hearing to decide whether a piece of evidence can be heard as part of a trial.
In the video, Fenn told Det. Mark Pillman he had been on a five-day cocaine binge at the time of the killings.
In the video interview, Fenn said he was in the midst of "cocaine-induced psychosis" when it happened.
The three victims were found by police in Pejcinovski's home on Hilling Drive in Ajax on March 14, 2018. Autopsy results revealed two of the victims had been stabbed to death and one died by strangulation.
"To make any sense of this situation, it makes no sense," Fenn said in the video. "I wasn't in the right state of mind, at all."
Fenn is representing himself at the trial, though his former lawyer Mary Cremer has been appointed by the court to conduct cross-examinations on his behalf.
The trial resumes on Tuesday.