Suspect's interrogation video played at attempted murder trial
Published Wednesday, October 11, 2017 6:40PM PDT
The trial for a university student accused of trying to kill his classmate heard from the suspect himself on Wednesday through an emotional recording of his police interrogation.
Thamer Almestadi has pleaded not guilty to charges of attempted murder, aggravated assault and assault with a weapon stemming from an attack in a University of British Columbia dormitory last October. He is accused of slitting the throat of a fellow international student whom he'd met previously, then attempting to choke her.
On the first day of the trial the court heard from victim Mary Hare, who spoke in detail about the attack that occurred just over a year ago. On Wednesday, the only voice heard in the courtroom's was Almestadi's.
The student from Saudi Arabia, 18 at the time, appeared emotionless as his interview – recorded hours after he allegedly stabbed and choked Hare in her dorm room – was played for the court.
In the video, Almestadi can be heard asking Sgt. Kevin Jeffrey, "I don’t even know like, was that even, like, true? Like a dream or something?"
Jeffrey responds: "Unfortunately it wasn't a dream."
The three-hour interview makes several references to the Quran and cultural differences between Saudi Arabia and Canada. Almestadi is quiet and unintelligible at times, but also admits his attraction to Hare.
He says she screamed as she was attacked, and that he still remembered her voice.
"She was saying sorry," he says in the tape.
At one point, Jeffrey tells a visibly emotional Almestadi that he has a big heart, and the suspect responds that his is broken.
"A broken heart? What happened to break your heart?" Jeffrey asks.
"Because, I don’t know. I just try to kill somebody," Almestadi responds.
Despite his not-guilty plea, Almestadi details the alleged attack in the recording. When asked how quickly Hare's neck was cut, he responds, "five seconds."
The emotional testimony is expected to continue on Thursday, when the defence plans to call the student who intervened in the attack.
The first paramedic and police officer at the scene are also expected to take the stand.
With a report from CTV Vancouver's Sarah MacDonald