KAMLOOPS - "Did you kill Ken Yaretz Jr.?"
"Did you kill Damien Marks?"
"Do you know who killed them?"
The man accused of double murder in Kamloops took the stand today in his own defence.
Roy Fraser — on trial for the 2009 murders of Kenneth Yaretz Jr., 24, and Damien Marks, 31 — told the jury today he didn't kill the two Kamloops men.
The two men were found shot to death and buried at Knouff Lake in 2009. Defence team Alexander and Jordan Watt began their case today in B.C. Supreme Court in Kamloops, after the completion of the Crown's case last week.
Fraser told the jury during his testimony he was a 'low-level' marijuana grower, broker and seller who went into partnership with Yaretz. They grew a crop of about 200 marijuana plants on Fraser's Knouff Lake rental property, but Fraser replanted the next crop on his own when he found out Yaretz had become a member of the Independent Soldiers, the jury heard.
"I didn't want anything more to do with him simply because of his gang affiliation," Fraser said.
Yaretz also lived with Fraser for some time and borrowed his truck.
"I met him through a friend of mine," Fraser told the jury, adding Yaretz was a cocaine dealer in town. "I'd asked him a little about what he was doing and if he could move some pot for me if I came across some, and he said 'yes.'"
Fraser met Marks through Yaretz and was unaware of Marks' relation to gang activity.
"Kenny referred to him as his No. 1 guy though," he said.
Fraser described the last time he saw Yaretz in April 2009. He had been storing marijuana grow-op equipment for Yaretz, and he was in a rush to get it back.
"He told me he had to get the equipment and he had to get it right now," Fraser said.
Fraser said Yaretz had kicked in his shed, cut through his gate and refused to give back his truck in the midst of trying to return equipment to gangsters from Kelowna.
"He was scared, he was agitated," Fraser said. "He had to get this stuff back to them or something was going to happen."
During cross-examination, Crown prosecutor Tim Livingston wondered why Fraser neglected to mention the confrontation to police while interviewed during the missing persons investigation.
"You didn't think it would be helpful to police?" Livingston said.
"I just didn't want to be involved," Fraser said. "I was thinking about how nervous I was to be in the interrogation… I just don't like RCMP officers is all."
"I wasn't really thinking about that at the time," Fraser said. "I don't like speaking bad about anyone to the police."
It was unclear whether Fraser would testify or not until this morning.
"Mr. Fraser does not have to call any evidence. Mr. Fraser does not have to testify," Watt said. "Mr. Fraser is not going to exercise that right…. Mr. Fraser is going to testify and tell you his side of the story."
Cross-examination continues tomorrow.
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