Police officers were surprised when Kevin Mantla, their main suspect in a fatal knife attack, was waiting in the front entrance to the RCMP detachment less than eight hours after the investigation began in Yellowknife.
Mantla is on trial for murder in the stabbing death of 37-year-old Elvis Lafferty and attempted murder and aggravated assault in connection with the stabbing of Lafferty's partner, who is also Mantla's ex-girlfriend.
The attacks happened shortly after midnight on Sept. 28, 2015 at a Lanky Court apartment.
On Wednesday, court heard recordings of the call Mantla, 39, made from a phone in the entrance to the Yellowknife RCMP detachment, the same morning as the attack.
"I need a place to sleep," he told the RCMP operator. "We're not a hotel, sir," the operator said, suggesting he go to a shelter.
"Can I sleep in the drunk tank?" Mantla asked.
"I'll let the officers know you're at their front door, but it's not a hotel service, so they might not let you stay."
Mantla arrested at RCMP detachment
Const. Brydon Shae, the officer who went to meet Mantla, testified that the accused was not wearing shoes and gave his name when asked.
RCMP had been looking for Mantla since being called to the bloody scene at the apartment.
Shae said he had already been briefed on the search for Mantla, so he handcuffed him and within seconds three of the detachment's major crimes unit investigators were at the entrance.
They arrested him and read him his rights. Mantla said he didn't want to talk to a lawyer, rather he wanted to go to sleep.
White shoes a reoccurring topic at trial
Another RCMP officer testified that he found a pair of white running shoes sitting near a locked dumpster about 30 metres from the detachment.
Earlier in the trial, Lafferty's mother testified that her son was wearing white shoes the night he was killed.
Mantla's acquaintance, who allowed him to stay at his apartment in the hours before and after the attack, said the accused was also wearing white running shoes.
Security video footage from the apartment shows a man who appears to be Mantla leaving shortly before arriving at the RCMP station.
The acquaintance said Mantla left the apartment, returned and then left again the night of the murder.
Furthermore, the acquaintance said the next morning a green plastic bag for garbage in the bathroom was missing.
A police officer testified he searched dumpsters outside the apartment but one was empty and he saw only construction waste in the other.
A previous version of this story incorrectly named the testifying officer as Brandon Shae. In fact, his name is Brydon Shae.Feb 01, 2018 3:58 PM CT