Credits: REUTERS/Eric Gaillard
CALGARY -- The shooting of a woman who said her breast implants saved her from serious harm was an accident, the man who pulled the trigger said Thursday.
Fernando (Frank) Chora said he was simply trying to put his 9mm Beretta handgun in his breast pocket when it discharged unintentionally on Jan. 2, 2006.
Chora told defence lawyer Adriano Iovinelli he and his ex-girlfriend, Eileen Liknes, had been driving around southern Alberta for hours when she finally got fed up and asked him to get out of her car.
As she dropped him off in Okotoks, Chora said he decided to retrieve his gun from his travel bag on the floor in front of the front passenger seat.
"I grabbed the gun and right about here ‘boom' the gun went off," Chora said, holding his hand near his chest.
MORE: Boob implants took the bullet
He said Liknes, who was visiting from BC, jumped out of the vehicle and then reached in and grabbed for what turned out to be her cellphone before running off to a nearby restaurant.
"I was kind of trying to figure out what happened, I was kind of in shock," Chora testified.
Chora, who said he had dropped the weapon when it fired, told court he then picked it up, ran to the driver's side and drove off with Liknes' borrowed car.
"I'm so used to ‘the gun went off and the cops are coming,' so I jumped in the car and I drove away," he said.
Chora, who was living in Vulcan at the time, said he didn't even know Liknes had been hit and saw no blood as he moved to the driver's seat.
It was only when he saw the STARS air ambulance arrive about 20 minutes later, as he tried to negotiate unfamiliar country roads, that he realized she'd been hit.
Chora was charged with attempted murder in the shooting, but Crown prosecutor Britta Kristensen conceded there wasn't sufficient evidence to establish he wanted Liknes dead.
Kristensen and Iovinelli will present final arguments on Friday on charges of assault with a weapon and aggravated assault.
The defence is conceding two weapons charges, plus the break and enter and confinement of an elderly couple, whose home Chora went to after the shooting.
Liknes, who testified Wednesday her implants "took the brunt" of the bullet, had subsequent surgery to replace the broken prosthetics.