A Kamloops man who was stabbed to death nearly three years ago was involved in a heated confrontation with the man accused of killing him hours before the slaying, a judge has been told.
Jason Michael Holm, 39, is standing trial in B.C. Supreme Court on one count of first-degree murder. He is accused in the death of Paul Samuel Whitten, 39, who was stabbed to death on Clarke Street in the West End on Aug. 1, 2020.
Court has heard Whitten was stabbed 49 times. Police found him gravely injured on a balcony on Clarke Street after responding to a 911 call about a man covered in blood. Before he died, court has heard, Whitten identified his killer as “Jason.”
Two of Whitten’s friends testified on Friday. Both men were with him the night before he was killed and they witnessed him confront Holm about his erratic behaviour.
Holm was seen by multiple witnesses walking around the West End neighbourhood naked in the days before Whitten was killed. On Friday, court heard he was also seen masturbating in front of children living in a home on Clarke Street.
Holm and Whitten were neighbours and friends. Both men lived in apartments on Clarke Street.
The night before the slaying, when Whitten’s other friends found out about Holm’s bizarre behaviour, they told Whitten he might want to rethink his friendship with Holm.
Purcheen Gemawat, one of Whitten’s friends, called the conversation “tough love.” He said Whitten immediately became “aggressive” toward Holm.
“Paul flipped out at Jason,” he said.
“He said, ‘You want to wank in front of children? I’ll kill you.’ Jason was really calm. He said, ‘What are you talking about? Just go inside.’”
Gemawat said Whitten appeared distraught a few hours later when he left to go home.
“We could hear Paul just — I think he was laying in his bed and just shouting,” he said.
“We were wondering if he was OK. I think it was because of the way the whole night went.”
A neighbour called 911 about five hours later after spotting Whitten covered in blood.
Court has heard Holm has a history of mental illness. He has twice been found not criminally responsible by way of a mental disorder (NCRMD) for previous criminal charges. NCRMD is expected to be raised by Holm’s defence lawyers during his current trial, as well.
Holm’s trial will continue on Tuesday. He remains in custody.