A man standing trial for first-degree murder in the 2020 stabbing death of his friend admitted his guilt to police a short time after his arrest and blamed voices in his head.
Jason Michael Holm, 39, is charged in the death of Paul Samuel Whitten, also 39, who was killed 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.”
Holm was arrested about four hours after Whitten died.
Whitten and Holm were neighbours and friends. Court has heard Holm’s behaviour became erratic in the days before Whitten was killed.
On Tuesday, RCMP Insp. Simon Pillay testified about his interactions with Holm during and after his arrest. Court listened to recordings of Pillay’s conversations with Holm.
On the recordings, Holm admitted to killing Whitten and said he was listening to a voice in his head.
“I want to talk to you right now — I killed him,” Holm said.
“I do want a lawyer, I don’t want to go to jail. Someone in my mind keeps telling me what to do.”
Later in the interview, Holm said he killed Whitten because Whitten targeted “the one” — the person Holm said was responsible for the voices in his head.
During his time with Pillay, Holm made it clear he is schizophrenic and off his medication. He also said he had spent time in the past at Forensic Psychiatric Hospital.
Holm refused to talk and largely denied any involvement in Whitten’s death until Pillay told him Mounties would soon obtain a search warrant for his apartment. Holm then said investigators would find bloody clothes inside and he told Pillay where to find the knife used to kill Whitten.
That is also when Holm began to describe his delusions in more detail.
Holm has a history of mental-health issues. He has twice been found not criminally responsible by way of a mental disorder (NCRMD) for previous charges. NCRMD is expected to be raised by Holm’s defence lawyers during his current trial, as well.
Court has heard he was seen by multiple witnesses walking around the West End naked in the days before Whitten was killed.
One of Whitten’s friends testified last week that Whitten confronted Holm about his bizarre behaviour the night before the stabbing.
Holm’s trial will continue on Wednesday. He remains in custody.