Trial of man accused in brutal Marpole murder adjourned for psych evaluation

Court proceedings for man accused of murdering a Vancouver couple in their home has been delayed until the New Year. Rumina Daya has more on why the judge granted the lengthy adjournment.

WARNING: This story contains graphic details which may be disturbing to some readers. Discretion is advised.

The trial of a B.C. man accused of murdering a couple in their West Side Vancouver home two years ago ground to a halt on Wednesday.

A B.C. Supreme Court judge has agreed to adjourn the trial until January 20, 2020, after defence asked for more time to obtain psychiatric evidence for the accused.

Rocky Rambo Wei Nam Kam has pleaded not guilty to two counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of 68-year-old Richard Jones and 64-year-old Dianna Mah-Jones, whose bodies were found in their home near West 64 Avenue and Hudson Street on Sept. 27, 2017.

First look at video evidence in Vancouver murder trial
First look at video evidence in Vancouver murder trial

“We need to further assess Mr. Kam’s state of mind at the time,” defence council Glen Orris said in his application to adjourn.

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The evidence certainly points to Kam being responsible for the crimes said Orris, but the issue is Kam’s state of mind: did he know the difference between reality and fantasy, and was there intent to kill Mah-Jones and Jones?

Orris described the killings as “completely random,” said there was “no connection” between Kam and the victims, and said his client had “no previous criminal history at all.”

READ MORE: Videos show timeline of man accused of murdering Vancouver couple, Crown says at trial

Orris also told the court Kam was suffering from “significant clinical depression.”

“Mr. Kam has been involved in, at least since early adolescence, in developing within his own mind and acting upon significant fantasies… in which to compensate for what he considers to be deficiencies in his own life,” said Orris.

Orris also argued that Kam suffered from a “significant gaming addiction,” and said his client spent eight to 15 hours a day playing computer games or seeking escape in comic books.

He argued that if Kam had carried out the killings, and done so without realizing what he was doing, it was possible he is not guilty by reason of a mental disorder.

A psychiatric assessment will now take place.

First look at video evidence in Vancouver murder trial
First look at video evidence in Vancouver murder trial

The details of the case are disturbing. The court has already heard police testify that they found the bodies of Maj-Jones and Jones in the shower stall of their Marpole home, in a scene described as “catastrophic.”

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The prosecution says Jones suffered 103 “sharp force injuries” and that Mah-Jones suffered “blood loss from a laceration to the carotid artery.”

READ MORE: Video, photo evidence released in trial of man accused in grisly murder of Vancouver couple

Several witnesses have testified that a knife and a blood-stained hatchet were found at the scene of the crime.

Crown has played video evidence it says that shows Kam purchasing the hatchet, along with a baseball cap and gloves, about two weeks before the murder.

DNA evidence focus of Vancouver double-murder trial
DNA evidence focus of Vancouver double-murder trial

Crown’s theory is that Kam bought the items with the intent to commit a murder, but that he didn’t know the victims.

A DNA expert has also testified that Mah-Jones’ blood was found on the inside hinge of Kam’s glasses and his DNA was found under Maj-Jones’ fingernails.

READ MORE: ‘1 in 630-quintillion chance’ DNA found at Vancouver murder scene wasn’t from accused: expert

Prosecutors have also shown video that lays out the timeline of the victims’ final hours and Kam’s movements before the murder.

The court has also heard from Kam’s former roommate, Darby Morton, who testified that he’d never seen the accused drinking or doing drugs, and that he appeared to come from a normal family.

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Under cross-examination, Morton told the court that Kam did appear “kind of depressed.”

-With files from Sean Boynton