Accused killer seen walking naked through neighbourhood day before slaying

Accused killer seen naked

A Kamloops man accused of stabbing his neighbour to death on a downtown residential street was seen walking naked down Columbia Street the day 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.”

On Thursday, court heard from neighbours who live along Clarke Street. One witness, David Martin, said he saw Holm the day before the incident walking naked down the street.

Martin said he recognized the naked man as "Jason," who had been his neighbour for some time. He said he let his wife know about the strange circumstance and told her to keep their kids safe. He then watched as Holm continued onto Columbia Street, which was busy with traffic.

“I believe he had runners and a hat on,” Martin said. “He seemed to be masturbating at the time.”

On Wednesday, a police officer testified Holm’s mother called Mounties the day before Whitten’s death and asked them to check on him. She said he was walking around the neighbourhood naked and masturbating.

B.C.’s police watchdog was called in to investigate the incident because Mounties were looking for Holm when Whitten died. The Independent Investigations Office cleared officers of any wrongdoing.

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 Friday. The Crown’s case is expected to close early next week.

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