The man accused of bludgeoning to death another man in a Chilliwack drug house in 2016 is arguing that statements he made to police after his arrest were not done voluntarily.
A voir dire hearing began in BC Supreme Court in Chilliwack Monday in advance of the trial of David McKay who is charged with killing 40-year-old John “Mikey” Anderson on July 13, 2016.
Crown counsel’s theory of the crime is that it was for revenge for a supposed sexual assault of McKay’s girlfriend, but that McKay killed the wrong man.
Anderson was was found in medical distress by police in a house well-known to police on Glenwood Drive near Bernard Elementary School on July 13, 2016. He was brought to Chilliwack General Hospital (CGH), and pronounced dead just after 1:30 p.m.
|Mug shots of David McKay and Cyndie Markel-Rempel. (RCMP)|
The RCMP’s Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT) quickly released the name of the victim at the time and asked for the public’s assistance to locate McKay and his co-accused, Cyndie Arryelle Markel-Rempel.
The two didn’t go far and Markel-Rempel was arrested at around 10:30 a.m. near Chilliwack secondary and middle schools on July 15 wearing a T-shirt that read “Girl on the run.”
The officer who found McKay and Markel-Rempel was the first witness in the voir dire hearing this week. He testified that he was tasked with looking for the two to arrest on murder charges. He spotted them sitting on a wall at the Best Bite pizza on Yale Road, but when he approached, McKay, who had on a multi-coloured clown wig, fled on a bicycle.
He arrested Markel-Rempel and continued the search for McKay, who is well-known to police.
At approximately 3 p.m. that same day he followed a male on a bike who was wearing a hoodie and a bike helmet. He tracked him from the Coast Hotel to where he finally made contact near the McDonald’s on Railway Avenue. It was there that McKay was arrested and read his Charter rights.
McKay’s lawyer Lisa Helps explained to the court that the two-week voir dire was to question the voluntariness of McKay’s statements after arrest. The voluntariness test refers to whether an accused makes statements to authority under duress, with threats or promises, with police trickery or by some other method of eliciting a confession.
Early in the hearing it was not made clear what possibly self-incriminating statements McKay may have made, but Crown counsel Rebecca Beeny asked the officer if he was threatening, suggested he better co-operate or there would be negative consequences, or offered any promises for co-operating.
“No,” the officer responded.
McKay, who is known in the street-drug scene in Chilliwack as “Yoda,” sat in the prisoner’s box with a red T-shirt taking notes for much of the morning. He is now mostly bald with a long beard and appears to have put on considerable weight since his arrest.
The voir dire hearing continues this week and next, with a judge-only trial scheduled for later this year.