Thamer Almestadi, who has been charged with attempted murder, aggravated assault and assault with a weapon in an attack that happened at UBC in October 2016, appeared on Wednesday for his second day of trial.
The court only saw one piece of evidence today: a three-hour videotaped interview with Almestadi that took place the night of the attack, conducted by Sergeant Kevin Jeffrey.
Throughout the video, Almestadi and Sgt. Jeffrey discussed a far range of topics, including the details of the attack, Almestadi’s feelings for victim Mary Hare and his mental state.
Almestadi described the events of the attack in detail in response to questions from Sgt. Jeffrey, saying that he found her room by using the students’ names that are outside every door. According to Almestadi, he “scratched” Hare’s neck with the knife that he was carrying right as she opened her door.
Officers asks how long after Hare opened her door until her neck was cut. Says Almestadi, "Five seconds, I don’t know."— Ubyssey News (@UbysseyNews) October 11, 2017
Soon after, Almestadi said, he began to choke her — which lines up with yesterday’s testimony from student witnesses. He recalled Hare grabbing hold of the knife, trying to pull it away from her neck.
Almestadi is animated, but rambling and a little scatterbrained. Says that he wasn't thinking about what he was doing, just that he was doing it. Officer asks, "it's like matter-of-fact?" Almestadi replies "yes!"— Ubyssey News (@UbysseyNews) October 11, 2017
Sgt. Jeffrey and Almestadi talk candidly for some time about religion and motivation. Almestadi described seeing a “cold face” and a “devil” when he looked at himself in the mirror in his dorm room, and later talked about having hallucinations and thinking that people he passed were looking at him differently.
“I had a dark side to me,” he told Sft. Jeffrey.
According to Crown Counsel Daniel Porte, a report written by a doctor will become evidence during this trial, either on its own or accompanied by the testimony of the doctor.
During the interview, Almestadi also mentioned speaking to a UBC residence advisor, telling her that he “overthinks everything” — she will be called as a witness on Friday.
According to Almestadi, he and Hare only spoke once or twice during their first weeks in UBC’s Totem Park residence. He thought she was pretty and nice — five days before the attack, he browsed Hare’s Facebook profile.
Facebook became “useless,” just “pretty pictures,” says Almestadi.— Ubyssey News (@UbysseyNews) October 11, 2017
Officer: what’s your fave picture [of Hare's]?
Almestadi doesn’t have one — “her eyes were nice.”
Almestadi asked Sgt. Jeffrey several times if he could be escorted to Hare in order to apologize. He was told that seeing Hare in person was not going to happen, but that he could be alone in the interrogation room to apologize to the camera if he wanted. Sgt. Jeffrey told Almestadi that his questions about Hare shows that he has “a heart in there.”
“Where was it at the time I needed it?” Almestadi replied in the video.
Almestadi did not end up apologizing to the camera when he was left alone in the room, instead putting his head in his hands.
Tomorrow the court will hear several testimonies, including from another student witness, the RCMP officer that arrested Almestadi and the paramedic that treated two small lacerations on Almestadi’s arm.
Follow along with live coverage at the @UbysseyNews Twitter. We’ll be releasing a recap article after each day of the trial.