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Undercover officer had to steer murder suspect away from discussing his dead son

‘He immediately started to talk about the death of his child, within the first minute of (me) being in the cell’

The undercover officer tasked with gathering intelligence on suspected child killer Anthony Karl Kurucz said he had to steer the accused away from talking about his dead child, court heard Thursday.

The officer, whose identity is protected by a publication ban, testified he was placed in a cell with Kurucz to gather information police could use to craft a so-called Mr. Big operation.

You are reading: Undercover officer had to steer murder suspect away from discussing his dead son

But he told Crown prosecutor Alexandra Russell that Kurucz wanted to talk about his dead infant son within moments of the officer entering the cell.

The former Calgary Police Service member, who now works for the RCMP in B.C., said he entered Kurucz’s cell late on the evening of April 18, 2019, almost a full year after the death of the accused’s three-month-old son, Jayden Cyluck-Kurucz.

The officer immediately went to the washroom and before he could wash his hands Kurucz got up from a bench he was lying on to introduce himself.

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Kurucz indicated he had been driving with his wife and was pulled over for not wearing a seatbelt. Officers then discovered he had outstanding warrants and was taken into custody.

“He immediately started to talk about the death of his child, within the first minute of (me) being in the cell,” the witness, who testified remotely via video link, said.

“I was definitely surprised. I didn’t think that he’d bring that sort of thing up so quickly.”

But the officer, who knew police were investigating the homicide of a child, told Russell his role wasn’t to get Kurucz to discuss the alleged offence.

“I wasn’t … to talk about the offence.”

Instead, he said, his job was to gather personal information about Kurucz so the priority crime team could develop a “first hook” to draw him into a Mr. Big operation.

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Kurucz, who is charged with second-degree murder in the April 27, 2018 death of little Jayden, also viewed proceedings remotely from bed in his Calgary home as he was too ill to attend court, an illness that has delayed proceedings.

The undercover officer said he was able to glean some personal information about the accused to pass on to the priority crime team.

“He spoke about his interest in video gaming like Pokemon, Call of Duty,” the witness said.

“He was (also) into watching street racing … illegal street racing,” he said.

“He was interested in vehicles, fast cars and diesel trucks, he spoke quite a bit about that.”

Justice Glen Poelman must still rule whether evidence obtained in the undercover operation is admissible. Defence lawyer Darren Mahoney is challenging the sting.

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