Man found guilty of second-degree murder in Kamloops Super 8 homicide - InfoNews

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Man found guilty of second-degree murder in Kamloops Super 8 homicide

July 31, 2020 - 2:00 PM

On Aug 27, 2017, 52-year-old Debra Novacluse’s body was found under a mattress, half-naked and wrapped in a sleeping bag.

Today in Kamloops Supreme Court, Justice Marguerite H. Church found David Albert Miller guilty of one charge of second-degree murder.

The court heard that Miller, a former trucker from Abbotsford, had rented a room at the Super 8 motel in Aberdeen for two nights. Security footage shows he met Novacluse in the parking lot of the motel and they greeted one another. After entering room 112, Novacluse never left alive.

An autopsy of her body found she had extensive injuries to her head and face which appeared to be caused by blunt force trauma. Her neck was severely damaged, and she had injuries on her torso, back, extremities and tearing in her vagina.

READ MORE: Trial for Super 8 murder wraps up in Kamloops

While Novacluse was still alive in the room on Aug. 26, Miller had gone to a casino where he drank and smoked marijuana. In a later statement, he says that was his last memory, although details in his statement had shifted throughout talks with police.

While outside of the Kamloops casino, he threw a $100 bill on the ground which struck up a conversation with a nearby woman. He invited her to the motel room for a party, and she agreed, insisting they first pick up a male friend of hers.

The court heard that when the woman and her friend arrived, Novacluse was laying under the bed covers and wasn’t in the “party mood.” Novacluse later got up and chatted with the woman and had drinks with the group. At one point in the evening, the woman claimed that Novacluse and Miller went into the washroom for ten to 30 minutes. When they came back into the room, Miller’s positive demeanour had changed and Novacluse was out of it, and fell while trying to sit on the bed. The woman and her friend left the motel room shortly after 4 a.m. They said Novacluse was alive when they left.

When Miller left the motel just after 10 the same morning, he took Novacluse’s truck and belongings and drove to Calgary. He dumped her items and left her truck in a parking lot, then bought a ticket for a red-eye flight from Calgary to Toronto.

When the Super 8 motel staff arrived for cleaning, they noticed something was off in the room. The mattress was upside down and the boxspring was moved, and they called police. That's where they found her body.

Miller had flown to Toronto and took a train to Union Station. From there, he went to Brockville, Ontario and met with some friends for two days. He then hitchhiked to Napanee, where he was arrested.

When questioned, Miller had first said he and Novacluse had been neighbours and only knew each other socially. He then admitted he had sex with her only on that night, and later said it had happened before. He claimed she was aggressive at one point during their time in room 112 and he laid on top of her to calm her down, and he claimed that could have suffocated her. Again, he changed his statement to say he choked her while having sex, which may have gone “too far.”

Miller will appear in court again on Aug. 17, 2020 to fix a date for sentencing.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Jenna Wheeler or call (250) 819-6089 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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