Ottawa man threw friend from balcony believing he 'deserves to die': prosecutor

Martin Frampton has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder in the May 2019 death of Kenneth Ammaklak, 31, at a Donald Street highrise apartment building.

Martin Frampton pleaded not guilty to 1st-degree murder in 2019 death of Kenneth Ammaklak

The Ottawa courthouse is where the murder trial of Martin Frampton is currently taking place. (Trevor Pritchard/CBC)

Martin Frampton believed his one-time friend to be a child molester and "crooked" person who deserved to die when he threw the man's beaten body over a 21st-floor balcony, Ottawa prosecutors alleged Monday.

Frampton has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder in the May 2019 death of 31-year-old Kenneth Ammaklak.

In his opening address to the jury at the Ottawa courthouse, Assistant Crown Attorney Stephen Lichti told jurors Frampton gave three police interviews. Each time, more bits of the truth would emerge until finally Frampton admitted what he did, Lichti said.

On the night of May 13, Frampton was drinking inside Ammaklak's apartment at 251 Donald St. with his friend and Ammaklak's girlfriend. Though that girlfriend is a witness and scheduled to testify at trial, police have been unable to locate her, the jury heard.

Ammaklak and his girlfriend began to argue, Lichti said. The girlfriend left the apartment leaving the two men alone.

At first, Frampton denied returning to the apartment at all. Then said he left Ammaklak alive but returned to find a "pool of blood," bloodied pillows and a bloody handprint on the balcony door.

In that version of events, Frampton told Ottawa police homicide detectives he could tell from the bloody scene Ammaklak had been struck with an object and dragged to the balcony door. He claimed to have driven around to Ottawa hospitals looking for his injured friend. Later, he would say he saw Ammaklak's dead body when he looked over the balcony.

Building security cameras would capture Frampton leaving the apartment first around 2 a.m. to go after Ammaklak's girlfriend then again at 5:44 a.m., only to return 11 minutes later.

Jurors will see, Lichti said, video that shows "fixed red staining" on Frampton's arms and him trying to rub away what looks like blood. Jurors will also see Frampton appearing in a new set of clothes, leaving the apartment in Ammaklak's own clothing, he said.

In his final statement to police on May 24, Frampton admitted striking Ammaklak over the head repeatedly with a hammer while wearing a blue plastic poncho to protect himself from the bloodshed. In that interview, Lichti said, Frampton called his one-time friend "a crooked piece of shit" and said he "deserves to die."

He brought Ammaklak to the balcony and then put the injured man's arms over the railing, then flipped his legs over, Lichti said. 

Frampton would tell police he felt like a "normal person" once it was all over, the prosecutor said.

The trial continues in front of the jury and Superior Court Justice Kevin Phillips.


Shaamini Yogaretnam

CBC Ottawa reporter

Shaamini Yogaretnam is CBC Ottawa's justice, crime and police reporter. She has spent nearly a decade covering crime in the nation's capital. You can reach her at or 613-220-2486. You can find her on Twitter at @shaaminiwhy