British Columbia

Violent details emerge as trial begins for man accused of murdering elderly Vancouver couple

Rocky Rambo Wei Nam Kam charged in the September 2017 deaths of Richard Jones and Diana Mah-Jones.

WARNING: This story contains graphic details

Rocky Rambo Wei Nam Kam is charged with first-degree murder in relation to the deaths of a couple in the Marpole area of Vancouver on Sept. 27, 2017. (Sketch by Jane Wolsak)

A man accused in the violent deaths of an elderly Vancouver couple stood trial on Wednesday, as Crown prosecutors revealed disturbing details of how the victims were killed.

Rocky Rambo Wei Nam Kam is charged with two counts of first degree murder after Vancouver couple Richard Jones, 68, and Diana Mah-Jones, 65, were found dead inside their Marpole home on Sept. 27, 2017.

Kam, wearing a red T-shirt and seated next to an interpreter, listened quietly as the Crown outlined details of the crime scene and questioned several witnesses.

In his opening statement, Crown prosecutor Daniel Mulligan said victims were brutalized by the attacker. Mah-Jones had more than 100 stab wounds and likely struggled through the attack.

The two bodies were found in the bathroom, appearing to have been dragged inside the room from the kitchen. They were left inside the shower with the water running, Mulligan said.

Diana Mah-Jones, 65, and Richard Jones, 68, as they appeared in an image on their Airbnb listing. The listing has since been removed. (Airbnb.ca)

Details emerge

Witness Regan Tse, who was delivering newspapers in the neighbourhood around 4:30 a.m., recalled spotting a knife on the pathway leading up to the house. He also spotted a hatchet nearby but said he didn't think anything of it.

When Mah-Jones didn't show up for work at Vancouver's GF Strong Rehabilitation Centre, her co-worker Anthony Purcell visited the property to check on her. He spotted the two weapons, noticing blood on the hatchet.

"I rang the doorbell once. There was no answer," he said from the stand.

Purcell went around the back of the house, where a backdoor was open and bloody footprints visible on the back steps.

"In the kitchen were signs of an obvious, horrific fight," said Purcell. "There was a lot of blood, and there was obvious signs of struggle. You could see marks in the blood on the floor, splatters of blood on the cupboards," he said.

Purcell quickly left the home and phoned police.

DNA match

Investigators found the couple's DNA on the hatchet. A serial number on the weapon indicated it was purchased at a Canadian Tire.

Surveillance footage showed what appeared to be Kam purchasing the hatchet, along with a baseball cap and gardening gloves, at a nearby store about two weeks before the killings. Security camera footage from the neighbourhood also placed him in the area around the time of the attack, prosecutors said.

When Kam was arrested outside his Marpole home on Nov. 6, 2017, police seized his glasses. Subsequent tests found there were traces of the victims' blood on his glasses.

Kam's blood were also found underneath one of Mah-Jones' fingernails, said Mulligan.

The prosecution says the attack was random, with no evidence to suggest Kam knew either of the victims.

Kam was born in Hong Kong and moved to Calgary with his family as a teenager before arriving in Vancouver in July of 2017.

A first-degree murder conviction carries a life sentence with no chance of parole for 25 years. Glen Orris is representing the defendant.

The trial is expected to last until the end of October.

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