Calgary

Father strangled his children, court told

The trial for a Calgary father accused of killing his two children and trying to kill his wife began on Monday in Calgary.

The trial for a Calgary father accused of killing his two children and trying to kill his wife began on Monday in Calgary.

James Bing Jun Louie, 44, is facing two counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of his 13-year-old son, Jason Louie, and his nine-year-old daughter, Jane.

The bodies of Ying Louie's two children, aged 13 and nine, were found inside their northwest home in November 2009. Their father James Louie is accused of killing them. ((CBC))
Their bodies were found inside their Panorama Hills home two years ago.

Louie wept quietly Monday as Crown prosecutor Beverley Bauer began laying out the case against him.

Bauer told Court of Queen's Bench Justice Earl Wilson that Louie strangled his son with a rope as the boy prepared for school on the morning of Nov. 27 2009. The accused then used his hands to strangle his daughter in her bed, court heard.

Louie is also charged with the attempted murder of his estranged wife Ying Louie, who arrived at the house that evening to discover her dead children. She had just dialed 911 when Louie began to strangle her, causing her to scream into the phone, court was told.

When officers forced their way into the home a short time later, they found Louie in a physical struggle with his wife.

Wife called 911 twice

Ying Louie had made an earlier call to 911 about a half an hour before she came home, telling an operator that she was worried because she couldn't contact her children.

During that eight-minute call, the dispatcher went through a series of routine questions for that type of situation and determined the children were not in imminent danger. Louie was advised to call back if she found something wrong at home.

It took police 16 minutes to reach the house from the time of that second call, because they had to first trace where the call came from, officials said at the time.

Louie, who was declared fit to stand trial last February, has pleaded not guilty to the charges. His mental state at the time of the killings is expected to be a key issue during the trial, court was told.

The incident highlighted the challenges police face in responding to 911 calls made on mobile phones.

Changes in the way cellphones connect to the 911 system came into effect in February 2010, as ordered by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission.

Cellphone companies now have to equip their towers to triangulate the location of calls.

In a statement released Monday, Ying thanked the public for the support she has received since her children were killed.

"I love my children dearly and I want them to be remembered fondly by everyone who knew them," she said.

She also asked for privacy throughout the trial, which is set for three weeks.