Warning: Some may find the images and details in this story disturbing.
A jury found Cory Smockum, 38, guilty of attempted murder on Feb. 8 after a five-day trial in Saskatoon Court of Queen’s Bench.
The jury came to a unanimous verdict on the attempted-murder charge, but couldn’t reach a verdict on two other charges of aggravated sexual assault and choking to overcome resistance. Justice G.M. Currie declared a mistrial on those two charges.
The three charges stem from an incident Saskatoon RCMP responded to near Hanley on Oct. 14, 2018. RCMP had a call of a man threatening a woman. Police found the victim, Adrienne Lennie, now 30, and took her to a gas station to wait for an ambulance. She was taken to a Saskatoon hospital.
Court records show Lennie spent six days in hospital with broken ribs, a brain bleed, damage to her knees and stitches on her lip. She had a cut on the side of her head, black eyes, bruising and ear damage.
Lennie took the stand on Feb. 4 and said she and Smockum were broken up when they went to a sled rally in Hanley Oct. 13, 2018. She said they weren’t dating at the time of the incident and that he had become controlling and intimidating.
After the rally they went to the bar in Hanley, where they met another couple. The couple owned the garage where the assault occurred, but weren’t there at the time.
Lennie said Smockum kicked the garage door open, threw her on her face on the garage floor, closed the door, got on top of her and punched her continuously in the face with his fist and elbow. She said he called her names and threatened her.
She lost consciousness and when she came to she said he was still hitting her and she was in a different spot in the garage. She was choked unconscious three times, she said.
He called her parents and told them to say goodbye to her because she was going to die that night in the river. He took her on the ATV and said no one was going to find her body and she would end up like Ashley Morin. Morin, who was friends with Lennie, was last seen in North Battleford in July 2018. RCMP believe Morin, 31, is a victim of homicide but her body has never been found.
Lennie told the court that during the third time he choked her “everything went warm,” her vision went and she “made peace with dying that night.”
Smockum also sexually assaulted her, Lennie told the court. She said she came to and she was on her knees, forced to perform oral sex and he forced her to pull down her pants and performed anal sex. She said she complied because she was afraid of being hit more. The blood was pooling in her hands and she couldn’t see and couldn’t hear much.
Smockum also threatened to kill others, and had “serious intentions of killing everyone he could that night,” said Lennie.
Smockum took Lennie through a field to a grain elevator on the quad. He was going fast and flipped the ATV. He was under the quad and asked for help. At this point Lennie ran away and went to the grain elevator to find help and hide. The police found her there in the early hours of Sunday, Oct. 14, 2018.
Smockum pleaded not guilty and testified that he wasn’t trying to kill Lennie. He said Lennie hit him first and swung a hammer at his head. He told the court that the hammer hit his stomach and injured his ribs. To this Lennie spoke up in court saying that was “disgusting” and he “knows the truth” and she never hit him.
Defence lawyer Ian Wagner introduced a post Lennie put on Facebook. The post said “That was me with Cory!!! Lmfao funny but not funny…too soon???” Referring to a post she shared of a picture and a caption that read, “Me when I fight bd ‘I never have enough bitch’ savage lmaooo. When she kick your ass and asks if you had enough. I didn’t hear no bell.”
Smockum also denied making death threats. He told the court that Lennie was threatening him and his family on social media.
Cst. Shane Zoller testified he was the first police officer to have contact with Lennie after the assault. He said he took photos of her injuries and he saw markings on her neck and observed that her clothes were ripped off.
Cst. Patterson said police located the victim. They found Smockum, woke him up and arrested him. Cst. Patterson said he could smell alcohol on Smockum.
The court also heard that Smockum has a 2016 conviction. In 2015 Smockum was arrested by North Battleford RCMP and charged with sexual assault, assault and choking to overcome resistance. The choking charge was dropped and the assault and sexual assault charges were changed to assault causing bodily harm and sexual assault causing bodily harm, respectively. Smockum was found guilty in 2016 of assault causing bodily harm. He was found not guilty of sexual assault causing bodily harm.
A date for sentencing Smockum for his attempted murder conviction will be set at a later time.
Lisa Joy, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Battlefords Regional News-Optimist