Footage shows accused murderer Graham Veitch confused, unresponsive and removing his clothes after arrest
Veitch appeared unresponsive and confused during interviews following his arrest
The trial of a man from Logy Bay-Middle Cove-Outer Cove charged with killing his mother's partner continued at Supreme Court in St. John's on Wednesday morning.
Graham Veitch admits to killing 55-year-old David Collins in 2016 — but has pleaded not guilty to all charges against him, with his lawyers arguing he is not criminally responsible for his actions because of a mental disorder.
As the trial resumed, the Crown played tape from an interview done directly after Veitch was taken into custody.
On the tape, Sgt. Colin McNeil reads Veitch his rights multiple times, asking if he understands what he is being charged with and if he wants to speak to a lawyer.
Veitch appears to be unresponsive and confused, prompting McNeil to ask multiple times, "Are you OK?"
Playing tape from the police interview of the night Veitch was arrested. He lays down on the couch, hands tied behind his back. As the interviewer reads him his rights Veitch says “I love you mom” and puts his head in his hands.—@megdroberts
During the interview Veitch tells McNeil there are "sounds everywhere," rarely finishing a full sentence.
He later says, "Dave Collins, I murdered him … because he was a threat to me and my family, my mom, my brother."
Veitch said he didn't have a choice, believing he was protecting his family because Collins was "not a nice man."
The courtroom watched hours of footage from the night Veitch was arrested. On the tape he is seen doing pushups and sit-ups, and then curling up on a small loveseat in the hours following his arrest.
Several times throughout the evening, he takes his clothes off and puts them back on.
During the interrogation, Veitch tells the interviewer that he remembers getting the hammer from the bathroom, which was being renovated. On tape, he admits to hitting Collins over the head with it and then driving to Outer Cove Cliff to throw the weapon into the water.
However, during other parts of the conversation he says he doesn't really remember much about the night.
The charge against Veitch was changed Monday, from first-degree to second-degree murder.
He's also charged with assaulting his mother, assaulting a police officer, stealing a car, and evading police.
Brennan tells court about the negotiation technique. He says he was surprised that Veitch called him back at times. Crown finished questions and defence has questions but they will wait until tomorrow. Court is adjourned for the day. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/cbcnl?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#cbcnl</a> <a href="https://t.co/9RYRBoWyrz">pic.twitter.com/9RYRBoWyrz</a>—@baileywhite
An agreed statement of facts said Veitch killed Collins with a hammer, and later told police he threw it into the ocean.
It also describes the mental health issues Veitch, 18 at the time, was experiencing.
The court heard from six witnesses Tuesday, including a Royal Newfoundland Constabulary officer with training in crisis negotiation.
Insp. Alex Brennan spoke to Veitch over the phone several times after he fled his family's Logy Bay home the night of the killing, and the Crown played recorded conversations between the two.
- Court hears from Graham Veitch in recorded calls with police at murder trial
- Graham Veitch admits to killing David Collins, but pleads not guilty
The court also heard from the officers who collected evidence from Veitch after his arrest, who testified he had trouble following instructions, seemed confused about what was happening and was unable to explain whether injuries on his body were old or new.
The judge-only trial for Veitch, now 21, is scheduled to last until Friday, but defence lawyer Mark Gruchy said one of his witnesses is sick, and won't be available for six weeks.
Once the Crown is done presenting evidence, there will be a break.