December 11, 2013 - 6:24 PM
KAMLOOPS - The jury has heard evidence and arguments from both sides and should begin deliberations tomorrow in the Roy Fraser double murder trial.
After five weeks, about 30 exhibits and over 40 witnesses, the jury must decide whether Fraser killed Damien Marks, 31, and Kenneth Yaretz Jr., 24.
The two Kamloops men were found shot to death and buried at Fraser's property in Knouff Lake back in 2009. Fraser is charged with the first degree murder of Marks and second degree murder of Yaretz.
The Crown and defence offered closing arguments today in B.C. Supreme Court in Kamloops. Defence lawyer Jordan Watt said the Crown offered no direct evidence linking Fraser to the murders.
"This case is based solely on circumstantial evidence," Watt said. "Items being found on his property is not enough to satisfy beyond a reasonable doubt that he committed these crimes."
Watt emphasized Fraser's cooperation with police during a search of his property and how he turned himself into police when he was wanted. He said Fraser was consistent in his testimony when he voluntarily took the stand this week. Watt also referenced a witness who was at the property the day after they were shot to death.
"This individual would have seen something," he said. "This individual didn't notice anything."
Watt asked the jury to consider the world of the victims. He said Yaretz had ties to a 'violent' gang, the Independent Soldiers, and he suggested Marks was also involved, with his strong association to Yaretz.
Watt questioned the absence of eye witnesses.
"This evidence does not establish when these individuals were killed, this evidence does not establish where these individuals were killed and most importantly this evidence does not establish who killed these individuals," Watt said.
Crown prosecutor Joel Gold asked the jury to use common sense when it comes to the circumstantial evidence.
The jury has heard the two bodies were found at Fraser's rental property, Yaretz's blood was found at the house, evidence was found burned in his firepit and the possible murder weapon was found dismantled on the property.
Between the cell phone records and the last time the victim's were heard from by their families, they could have been at the property.
Fraser also had the motive, Gold said. The jury has heard Yaretz borrowed Fraser's truck and never returned it, never paid him for a marijuana crop they were partners on and he kicked in his shed where he was storing marijuana grow-op equipment for Yaretz for free.
"All of these things... makes him very, very unhappy with this person," Gold said.
Gold asked the jury to determine whether Fraser's evidence is believable.
Someone else would have had to clean up the murder scene and Fraser would have had to go weeks without noticing anything at the house where he lived for four years.
"He says that he never noticed that the dirt was filled in (in the pit where the bodies were buried)," Gold said. "That would have been a fairly significant amount of dirt."
"Carefully consider all the circumstantial evidence and then ask yourself 'what makes sense?,'" he said. "Mr. Fraser committed these murders and no other conclusion makes sense."
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2013