In an unusual move, lawyers for a man charged with murdering a Marpole couple played hours of violent video games in court for the judge presiding over the trial.
Rocky Rambo Wei Nam Kam, 29, has pleaded not guilty to the September 2017 first-degree murders of Richard Jones, 68, and his wife, Dianna Mah-Jones, 64.
On Tuesday, Kam’s lawyers admitted that their client had killed the couple with the accused taking the witness stand and providing details of the brutal slayings.
The defence claimed in their opening statements that at the time of the murders he was addicted to video games and suffering from a mental disorder that made him think that he was not functioning in the real world but was in a fictional world that he understood was a video game.
For much of Wednesday the defence took Kam through a series of clips of video games that he had been exposed to before the murders. One of the first clips shown to Kam had the player in the video game witnessing a character having his head chopped off.
In another clip from the Skyrim video game, the player wielding a weapon in each hand is seen entering a home and attacking a woman, running after her before killing her and then repeatedly slashing at the body.
Asked by defence lawyer Faisal Alamy as to what the best strategy is to prevent the female victim, named Hilda in the scene, from warning villagers in the area, Kam said: “Kill her.”
“What is the benefit of chasing after Hilda?” asked Alamy.
“Nothing,” replied Kam. “Unless you want to kill her.”
The defence is claiming that the elements necessary to prove murder — including that the act was intentional — are not present due to the mental disorder and therefore Kam is not guilty of murder but may be guilty of the lesser and included offence of manslaughter.
Kam told B.C. Supreme Court Justice Laura Gerow that while he was attending university in Calgary and before he moved to Vancouver, he had been playing video games 12-to-13 hours a day. He said that when he moved to Vancouver he played video games and read comic books online but spent most of his time with the comics.
On Tuesday, Kam testified that he was out walking in the Marpole neighbourhood when he saw Mah-Jones get out of her vehicle and take some groceries to her home. He told the judge that he attacked her, at first putting both hands around her neck and later stabbing her with a knife.
Kam said that when Jones entered the back of the home, he attacked him with a knife and later used a hatchet to chop him in the neck. Then he dragged the two bodies into the kitchen and from there into the bathroom, he said.
The Crown’s theory is that Kam had purchased the hatchet and other items used in the slayings several weeks beforehand specifically to kill someone. The trial continues Thursday with arguments over the admissibility of an eight-hour recording of a police interview Kam gave 47 days after the slayings.