Former roommate testifies at trial of man accused of killing Vancouver couple
Warning: disturbing content
Darby Norton has testified Rocky Rambo Wei Nam Kam said he was in Vancouver to look for a job.
Now Norton’s former roommate is charged with first degree murder in the deaths of 65 year-old Dianna Mah-Jones and her husband Richard Jones. Kam has pleaded not guilty.
The couple was found dead in their Marpole home on Sept. 27, 2017. In an opening statement, Crown said they have no evidence of any connection or relationship between the accused and the victims, but they intend to argue the violent killings were the result of planning and deliberation.
Prosecutor Daniel Mulligan told the court he expects they’ll hear evidence Jones died of “multiple sharp force injuries,” including stab and slash wounds, and his wife died of blood loss due to her carotid artery being severed.
Norton told the court Kam became a tenant in the rental house he was also living in on Granville Street during the summer of 2017. He testified Kam told him he was originally from Hong Kong, had studied economics at the University of Alberta, and was going to be looking for employment in a related field. Norton told the court Kam said he was living off his savings in the meantime, and also played video games for money. Norton testified Kam told him he had “made a name for himself” in Hong Kong that way.
Norton told the court Kam sometimes worked with him, helping to move furniture. He testified he never met anyone from Kam’s family, or saw any visitors for Kam. He told the court when he and his girlfriend moved into the home’s basement suite from another part of the house in August 2017, he saw Kam less frequently.
Norton testified he never saw Kam drinking or doing drugs, and never witnessed any unusual behaviour other than eventually he seemed to be “getting up later.”
Under cross examination by defence lawyer Glen Orris, Norton agreed he told police in his statement Kam “seemed to get depressed.” During re-examination by crown, Norton said he was “speculating” and in response to a question from Mulligan, replied he does not have training in psychology or psychiatry.
Some of the first police officers on scene at the couple’s home also testified Thursday.
Vancouver police Det. Phil Ens told the court he saw bloody footprints at the back of the home when he arrived, and upon entering the house, Ens testified the kitchen floor was “completely bloodstained.”
“There was a lot of blood everywhere, you could tell it was something catastrophic,” Ens said.
Ens told the court when he went into the living room area, he observed streaking or drag-marks at the entrance to the room.
Vancouver police officer Peter Swan testified he observed a “yellow-sheathed” knife and a hatchet on the ground at the front of the house when he arrived, and then also noticed bloody footprints on the steps at the back of the home. He told the court he entered the house making verbal announcements with his rifle raised.
“We didn’t know what we were going into,” Swan said.
Swan testified as he went into the kitchen doorway he nearly slipped.
“I looked down and saw a lot of blood on the floor,” Swan said.
Swan told the court he made his way to the bathroom, where he heard water running. He testified when he opened the door, he was “overcome” with steam. He told the court he saw the outline of a what appeared to be a body in the shower stall. Swan testified he ended up forcibly opening the shower door, and then saw the bodies of a man and woman.
Two other officers testified about finding the white Kia Soul belonging to Mah-Jones not far away on Cartier Street on Sept. 28th, and discovering Kia keys in a flower bed on that same street the day after.
The defence has not yet presented its case, but the trial is set to continue Friday.