Co-workers of a woman killed in a 2018 triple slaying in Ajax told a court on Tuesday that their colleague had a difficult and sometimes violent relationship with the accused, who they say abused her and tried to control her.
Nicole Ferlito, an esthetician who worked with Krassimira Pejcinovski, also known as "Krissy," at Spa Sedona in Ajax, Ont., said Pejcinovski told her that Cory Fenn, her boyfriend, did not want her to massage men at work.
"[Fenn] didn't believe it was just a massage; he thought it was more," Ferlito told the court.
Fenn, who is acting in his own defence, has pleaded not guilty at the judge-alone trial to three counts of second-degree murder in the deaths of Pejcinovski, her 15-year-old son, Roy, and her daughter, Venallia, 13, three years ago.
He sat in the prisoner's box on Tuesday in the Oshawa courtroom listening quietly to the testimony and declining to cross-examine any witnesses when asked by Ontario Superior Court Justice Howard Leibovich.
Ferlito, a witness for the prosecution, said when she first started working at the spa in 2016, the 39-year-old Pejcinovski was happy, friendly and outgoing. But that stopped in early 2018 when Pejcinovski and Fenn would regularly break up and get back together, she told the court.
'Backbone' of the spa
Ferlito testified that when she asked Pejcinovski why she stopped wearing makeup, she told Ferlito that Fenn didn't want her to wear it because "she looks like a slut."
Ferlito also said the couple would party regularly and engage in drinking and drugs "a few times a week."
Also on Tuesday, court heard from Nuala Findlay, a receptionist who worked at the spa.
She described Pejcinovski, who was the spa's head esthetician, as "extremely hard-working" and always very reliable and early to work.
"She was essentially the backbone of the [spa]," Findlay said.
Findlay said Pejcinovski, who was always very "well put together, well dressed and well groomed," changed several months after meeting Fenn.
"Krissy became a little less communicative, less chatty," she said.
Pejcinovski began to wear heavy, bulky and loose-fitting clothes to work, Findlay said. She testified that Pejcinovski also started to call in sick more often and show up to work closer to her start time, looking "dishevelled," and would finish applying her makeup or doing her hair at the spa.
In February 2018, Findlay testified, Pejcinovski had come into work very "agitated" and appeared upset. When Findlay asked her what happened, Pejcinovski said the day before, she had a cancelled appointment and decided to pop by her home during that spare time.
Findlay testifed that Pejcinovski told her that when she got home, she found Fenn removing things from her house. She said Fenn shoved her up against a wall and cracked her phone screen, which she showed Findlay.
Findlay said Pejcinovski was scheduled to come in to work at 10 a.m. the day police were called to her home, but after waiting for 10 minutes, she texted her to see where she was.
After not hearing back, Findlay notified the spa owner and manager.
"We were all concerned because it was out of character not to hear back," she told the court.
Victims stabbed, beaten, strangled: pathologist
Also on Tuesday, Dr. Christopher Ball, a forensic pathologist with the Ontario Forensic Pathology Service, took the court through autopsy findings of the victims.
Ball told the court Pejcinovski was fatally stabbed in the chest area multiple times. She also suffered blunt force trauma to the head, neck and torso.
Two stab wounds in the chest were a consistent pattern with that of a serrated blade, he told the court.
According to the postmortem examination, Pejcinovski's 13-year-old daughter Venallia suffered fatal stab wounds to the chest.
She had also suffered sharp and blunt force injuries, Ball testified.
The injuries found on Pejcinovsky's son Roy Pejcinovski indicate the young boy had died from neck compression, Ball revealed the boy suffered blunt force trauma to the head and injuries to his neck, arms and torso..
Asked whether the injuries were consistent with a struggle, Ball said the boy's death was caused by manual strangulation.
A psychologist and a young girl who was sleeping over at the Ajax home during the killings are expected to testify on Wednesday.