Accused double murderer's rambling disruptions contrast sharply with his articulate interview with police

Jurors saw a completely different side of accused murderer Emanuel Kahsai, who appeared coherent and articulate in a video recording of his police interview.

Selma Alem and Julie Tran were found dead in northeast home in October 2015

Emanuel Kahsai is brought into the Calgary police processing unit by Det. Mike Cavilla, left, and Det. Dave Sweet, right, after his arrest. (Meghan Grant/CBC)

Jurors saw a completely different side of accused murderer Emanuel Kahsai, who appeared coherent and articulate Wednesday in a video recording of his police interview.
That version of Kahsai was a complete departure from his recent rambling, disruptive behaviour that has gotten him kicked out of the main courtroom at his double-murder trial.

Kahsai, 32, is on trial for first-degree murder in the death of his mother, Selma Alem, 54, and second-degree murder in the death of Julie Tran, a young mentally disabled woman who was cared for by Alem.

The self-represented Kahsai is now watching and listening to the proceedings from a remote room where his microphone has been muted after grunting and shouting for jurors to "call the FBI."

The trial began March 5. Jurors were told early on that Kahsai had been found by a doctor to be mentally fit after they asked if he had been forensically assessed.

Selma Alem, left, and Julie Tran were found dead in Alem's home in October 2015. (Calgary Herald/Family photo)

Homicide Det. Dave Sweet interviewed Kahsai on Oct. 20, 2015, after he was arrested in Edmonton for the two murders. Jurors are now watching the video of that interrogation.

Kahsai switches between saying "no comment" and "I don't know" when asked where he was on the previous Saturday when police believe the women were killed.

"I would expect if you're not involved in your mom's murder that you'll be as forthcoming with as much information as you possibly can to try and catch the son of a bitch that did this," Sweet told Kahsai. 

Victim's blood on Kahsai's shoes

Police believe the women were killed in Alem's Coventry Hills home on the Saturday but their bodies were found on Monday.

Jurors have already heard evidence that Alem feared for her safety and had sought a restraining order. 

The victims died after suffering knife injuries to their necks, faces and bodies.

Kahsai, who had recently threatened to kill his mother, was arrested later that night at an apartment in Edmonton. Alem's missing SUV was found just a few blocks away.

Blood from both women was found on Kahsai's sneakers, according to prosecutors Todd Buziak and Matt Dalidowicz.

'God have mercy on your soul'

Justice Glen Poelman has told jurors that defence lawyer Mark Takada is appointed as a "friend of the court." Takada has been asking cross-examination questions of some of the witnesses. 

Poelman has also asked jurors to ignore Kahsai's outbursts, which come every time his microphone is unmuted. 

Kahsai's recorded interrogation will continue to be played for the jury on Thursday. 

Sweet had some parting words for Kahsai at the end of the interview: "Your bullshit ain't going to wash anymore."

"You, my friend ... are going to look like one sick son of a bitch. God have mercy on your soul."

About the Author

Meghan Grant

CBC Calgary reporter

Meghan Grant is the courts and crime reporter for CBC Calgary.