KELOWNA — Joey Verma, 32, will not testify in his own defence at his Kelowna trial on a charge of first degree murder.
That revelation Tuesday as the Crown closed its case in the April 2010 shotgun slaying of Brittney Irving.
The final prosecution witness was a police officer who interviewed Verma — the accused killer claiming his innocence, pointing the finger of guilt at other drug dealers.
Two weeks before his arrest in June 2010, Verma was approached on the streets by a plain clothes police officer who specializes in interview techniques.
The cop told Verma he was a suspect in the murder of Brittany Irving, asking him why he shouldn’t be. The accused killer denied any involvement in Irving’s death.
Verma acknowledged he was to meet with Irving on the day she disappeared, saying they were to do a deal for two pounds of marijuana, but Irving failed to show up, and didn’t answer his calls.
Verma told the cop: “If I had something to hide, I wouldn’t be sitting around here, I’d be hiding out at my lawyer’s house.”
Verma labeled Irving as a drug addict with enemies, saying she was scared for her life.
“Look at the house and dope and money she lost. She was doing OxyContin, snorting coke, partying all night with who? You guys figure it out.”
Describing himself as a small player in the drug trade, Verma suggested police look at the higher ups, saying they were wasting their time looking at him.
“There’s bigger people involved, people at the nightclubs. I’m not like them. She was into some big shit with some big people. Pay attention to things going on in the drug world,” Verma told the officer.
After a month of testimony, the prosecution closed its case Tuesday.
Verma himself will not take the witness stand to try to counter the crown’s evidence, and his lawyers are not calling any defence witnesses.
On Wednesday, both sides will give their final submissions to the jury.