Update: 12/3/09

Nicola Puddicombe was found guilty of first-degree murder.

Update: 11/16/09

In court yesterday, Ashleigh Pechaluk said her videotaped confession of killing Dennis Hoy was to protect Nicola Puddicombe.

“I was protecting her,” she told the court.  “I thought it was a good decision.”

In the videotaped confession, Pechaluk admitted to killing Hoy.

“She didn’t do it…I did it,” she told detectives.

When asked if she was trying to protect Puddicombe, she told investigators she was saying it “because it’s the truth.”

In the videotaped when asked what knowledge Nicky had in the murder, Pechaluk said, “I am not going to say.”

When asked if Nicky was responsible for the murder of Dennis Hoy Pechaluk said, “No.”

The jury that acquitted Pechaluk did not hear her videotaped confession.

Update: 6/4/09

 A jury found Ashleigh Pechaluk, 24, not guilty of all charges stemming from the Oct. 27, 2006, bludgeoning death of Dennis Hoy, 36, while he slept in the bed of his long-time girlfriend Nicola ‘Nicky’ Puddicombe.

Puddicombe, now 36, will go on trial, starting on Monday at Superior Court in front of Benotto. The trial is expected to last six weeks.

From the Toronto Star

Ashleigh Pechaluk loved Nicola Puddicombe and dreamed of marrying her.

But Dennis Hoy, Puddicombe’s boyfriend of 11 years, stood in the way, a murder trial was told yesterday.

So the two women concocted a plan to kill the 36-year-old man with an axe as he slept in Puddicombe’s bed, prosecutor Tom Lissaman told a jury.

It was a scheme Pechaluk, then 22, described in detail to a friend, right down to the 911 call her lover would make to fool police, Lissaman alleged at the opening of Pechaluk’s first-degree murder trial yesterday.

“He was bludgeoned to death as he lay naked and asleep in his girlfriend’s bed,” Lissaman said.

The plan was for Puddicombe to phone police to say she had just come out of the shower and was surprised by Hoy’s bloodied body, the prosecutor said.

She was to say Hoy was a Hells Angel, was being followed and that his tires had been slashed. That is strikingly similar to what Puddicombe did tell police, Lissaman said.

At 12:45 a.m. on Oct. 27, 2006, police responded to Puddicombe’s 911 call and arrived at the apartment she shared with Pechaluk and a male roommate on The Queensway near Park Lawn Rd.

Hoy was face down in Puddicombe’s bed. The axe was nearby.

Puddicombe, 36, soon faces her own first-degree murder trial.

Her motive “may have been slightly different from Ashleigh’s,” Lissaman said, adding that she stood to gain $250,000 from Hoy’s life insurance and pension policies.

Pechaluk met Puddicombe at the Loblaws grocery store at Victoria Park Ave. and Gerrard St. E., where they were both worked. They soon were lovers.

Pechaluk’s private journals show she was obsessed with Puddicombe, and frustrated by Hoy being around, Lissaman said.

Pechaluk confided to fellow Loblaws part-timer Sarah Sousa that Hoy was interfering in their relationship and forbidding them to see each other, the prosecutor said.

Several months before the murder, she told Sousa she and Puddicombe had plans to buy a house, get married and have children, but they could never be together unless Hoy was gone, Lissaman said. “Ashleigh started talking about ways of killing Dennis.”

A week before the slaying, she told Sousa that she planned to enter Puddicombe’s bedroom when Hoy was asleep and hit him on the head with a baseball bat. She said they would make it look as if someone came in through a window.

When police arrived, the kitchen’s sliding door was open. Hoy’s blood was found near the handle of the adjacent sliding door as if to suggest the killer escaped that way.

“The evidence will show that this is not what occurred,” Lissaman said.

The trial continues.

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