Recipient of suspect package joked it could be a bomb, Amsel trial hears – Manitoba

A man who received a mail package addressed to Guido Amsel’s ex-wife told a court Friday he joked at the time it might be a bomb.

That same package would be safely detonated by police a day later.

Olexandre Ehrmantraut told court he was working at his Washington Avenue auto repair shop July, 2, 2015, when his mechanic Kevin McKenzie showed him a mail package that had been delivered to the shop with Amsel’s ex-wife’s name on it.

At or around that time, Iris Amsel had operated an auto garage in a building Ehrmantraut owned across the street.

“We looked at it and the letters looked like chicken scratch,” Ehrmantraut said. “We were joking around saying who does that look like wrote this? It looked like a kid’s handwriting. [Kevin] said ‘Guido.’ I said ‘totally.’ It just made sense. 

Olexandre Ehrmantraut and Kevin McKenzie testified the package had writing that looked like ‘chicken scratch,’ joking it might be Guido Amsel’s writing. (Winnipeg Police Service)

“But why would Guido send Iris a letter? We actually made a bomb joke about the letter … I grabbed the letter, shook it beside my head, we were throwing this thing, tossing it around as if it were nothing, because really, who thinks?”

‘We actually made a bomb joke about the letter … I grabbed the letter, shook it beside my head, we were throwing this thing, tossing it around as if it were nothing.’
– Witness Olexandre Ehrmantraut

McKenzie testified he delivered the package to the other garage to wait for Iris, who was out of town. 

The following day, lawyer Maria Mitousis was seriously injured after an explosive device delivered to her River Avenue law office detonated in her hands. Mitousis was Iris Amsel’s divorce lawyer.

Amsel, 51, is charged with five counts of attempted murder and several explosives offences in connection with bomb packages delivered to two law firms and his ex-wife in July 2015 and a December 2013 explosion at his ex-wife’s RM of St. Clements…

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