March 10, 2014 - 10:47 AM
KELOWNA - The trial of a B.C. man accused in a 1999 slaying has seen a chilling video in which he speaks casually to an undercover officer about killing and burying the victim.
Rob Smith is charged with manslaughter and interfering with a dead body in the murder of Sandy Charlie, who disappeared from Lytton.
"I ended up killing somebody and I just dug a hole and put him in it," Smith said in the video. "I imagine the body's still there. It's been quite a long time."
The video was filmed on Aug. 10, 2012 and shown Thursday in B.C. Supreme Court in Kelowna.
Charlie's family members cried and consoled each other as they heard Smith describe how he killed the First Nations man.
Court has heard Smith became a suspect in 2007, but was never arrested due to a lack of evidence.
That changed when Charlie's body was uncovered accidentally by an excavator working on Crown land in 2011.
Police did not publicly release any information about the discovery and, months after the body was located, Mounties launched an undercover operation targeting Smith.
Taking the stand on Thursday was the RCMP constable who portrayed a crime boss to whom Smith confessed.
The video shows the pair meeting in what appears to be a living room with yellow walls and two dark leather couches. The undercover officer, who can only be identified as C.F., told Smith about the importance of honesty, implying he could make legal troubles go away.
"I need to know things so I can fix things," C.F. said. "If I don't know everything, I can't possibly fix it."
In the video, Smith said Charlie had been a witness to a domestic altercation involving Smith and his then-girlfriend, Gloria Oates.
Smith said Charlie went to police and he wound up behind bars.
When Smith was released from the Kamloops Regional Correctional Centre, he invited Charlie to Oates' house in Lytton for drinks.
"I asked him about it and he tried saying he never did. But I seen him," Smith said to C.F.
"I seen you point your finger and ... I heard you," Smith said, swearing. "He tried to deny it and that made me more mad.
"He lied to me, so I just got up and gave him a shot in the head, knocked him down, gave him a few more shots and he was out."
While Charlie was knocked out, Oates left to spend the night with her cousin.
Smith said Charlie regained consciousness and left on his own accord, returning five minutes later.
"When he came back to the house, that's when I asked him again," Smith said.
"And that's when I ended up finishing him right there. I just gave him a few more shots to the head, dragged him down the stairs and just left him there."
Smith said he waited 10 minutes, then checked on Charlie again, finding no pulse.
"I dragged him over to the side of the house and then I just went and dug the hole."
C.F. asked Smith what he intended to do the night of the altercation.
"I was just tuning him up at the time, that's what I was thinking," Smith said.
"Did you want to kill him?" C.F. asked.
"No, but I wanted to hurt him really bad," Smith replied. "It just happened."
"Let's be honest. Buddy wouldn't be in the ... ground right now if he'd kept his mouth shut in the first place," C.F. said.
"Yeah," Smith replied.
In the video, Smith said he hadn't told anyone else about the killing.
"I've never told anybody except (another undercover officer) and you," he said. "I kept it to myself for that long."
News from © The Canadian Press, 2014