Jeremy Steinke, shown in this courtroom sketch, is accused of killing his 12-year-old girlfriend’s parents and their son.
Drugged-up Steinke told friends he couldn’t kill girlfriend’s family alone, Alberta triple-murder trial hears
'Are you going to help me?' - Nova Scotia News - TheChronicleHerald.ca (external - login to view)
CALGARY — In the hours before the stabbing deaths of his girlfriend’s family, an agitated Jeremy Steinke drank, snorted cocaine and told friends he needed help getting rid of her parents, court was told Monday.
Friends of Steinke’s took the stand to describe what happened before and after the brutal killings of the couple and their young son in Medicine Hat, Alta.
The before list included attending a punk music concert and borrowing the movie Natural Born Killers, Oliver Stone’s story of a pair of young serial killers who get their start by killing the girl’s mother and father.
After, the friends testified, he visited with them, made out with his 12-year-old girlfriend, ordered a fast-food hamburger and showed off a bloodied and swollen eye. Steinke, 25, had been withdrawn and depressed in the months leading up to the deaths, testified friend Garth Bolt.
"He was a completely different person," Bolt told court. "He was very depressed, he didn’t seem to care about anything."
Steinke is on trial for first-degree murder in the three deaths.
The couple’s daughter, who was 12 at the time and can’t be named, has already been convicted of three counts of first-degree murder and is serving a 10-year sentence as part of a rarely used intensive rehabilitation program.
Just before the day of the deaths in April 2006, Bolt said, he and Steinke found themselves alone in a truck after attending a punk rock show with friends. He said Steinke was talking about killing his girlfriend’s parents and how he needed help from someone he trusted — something Bolt took as a request for his help.
"Do you think I’m crazy? Should I really go through with this? Is love worth killing for?" Steinke asked Bolt.
The conversation continued online. "If he didn’t kill (the girl)’s parents, she was going to leave him for good," Bolt recalled Steinke telling him.
Another friend, Jordan Attfield, told court that in the days before the family was found dead, a furious Steinke had been ranting about how much he wanted to see his girlfriend and how her parents were preventing that from happening.
"Are you going to help me?" Steinke asked him.
"I don’t have the balls, I have no need to kill anyone," Attfield responded.
Attfield testified he had heard the complaint before, and once overheard a bit of conversation between the girl and Steinke when he accidentally picked up a phone.
"She said that she can’t take her parents anymore, and they wanted to get rid of them," he said. "Jeremy said he’d think about it."
Both Attfield and Bolt testified they didn’t think Steinke was serious and brushed off his questions. Still, Attfield testified, "He scared the crap out of me."
Now clean-cut and wearing a dress shirt, Steinke’s posture was the same Monday as it has been through most of the trial — his head hanging down near his chest, his eyes on the floor.