A Manitoba RCMP officer has been found guilty of threatening to kill a fellow Mountie in a decision that may cost him his career.
Const. David Obirek was convicted Wednesday following a trial held earlier this year. Provincial court Judge Lee Ann Martin rejected Obirek's claim he was just blowing off steam when sending a series of violent text messages that landed him in legal hot water.
"These were words which must have been weighed while composing them. They were intended to be taken seriously," said Martin. "He had the option of deleting words or not pushing send."
Obirek, 44, has been suspended from the RCMP since his arrest. His future status will now have to be determined, but the criminal conviction could seal his fate.
Obirek testified in his own defence and claimed he never meant any harm when he sent the texts to his ex-wife in August 2011 in which he spoke of wanting Const. Landon Durston dead. Obirek was enraged after learning Durston was dating his former girlfriend, a civilian member of the RCMP. Durston and the woman eventually married.
"He's a piece of (expletive) and his days are numbered. I have a few people working on taking him out," Obirek wrote in one message.
"I've got somebody who's been following him and will take him out on my command. I've got a hit on him. He has no clue that he's being watched," he said in another.
Obirek said he believed his ex-girlfriend and Durston were shutting him out of seeing his young son. He said his frustration only mounted when he learned the boy, about to turn four, was going around telling other people that "I shot my daddy in the head, I have a new daddy now."
"Guns a blazin' mother(expletive), I'm taking people out," Obirek wrote in another alarming text to his ex-wife. "He has brainwashed my child. One day, you will read about it in the paper."
Durston told court he was stunned when Obirek's ex-wife contacted him to convey the messages she had received. He immediately phoned Winnipeg police, who began an investigation.
Durston and Obirek's ex-girlfriend then moved west because of ongoing safety concerns. The RCMP agreed to his request for an out-of-province transfer because he and his wife continued to live in fear. The woman had previously obtained a protection order against Obirek in October 2010 -- nearly a year before the texts surfaced.
"It's quite clear he took the texts seriously once apprised of them," Martin said Wednesday. She called Obirek's testimony self-serving and often evasive, saying it didn't raise a reasonable doubt.