Day two of the sentencing of William Gordon Robert Elliott for killing Karrie-Ann Stone and Tyeshia Jones continued at the Supreme Court of BC in Duncan Tuesday, June 10, with more of what had shocked onlookers the day before.
The families of the two victims plus their supporters saw the prisoner led in, his feet chained together.
They had come out to hear the prosecution (Scott Van Alstine of Duncan and Laura Ford of Victoria) continue its case, and the content made for a tough morning, with many tears in the crowd.
Big boxes of files stacked by the side of the court gave clear evidence of how much work has gone into preparing every aspect of this high-profile case.
Ford told how Elliott and three police officers that he thought were gang members visited three areas where Elliott said he had dealings with the two victims.
Elliott had been instructed by a supposed crime boss, as part of a sting, that any new details that came into his mind during the Duncan visit should be passed on to his three associates.
In this way, they discovered he actually used a flashlight to look around for evidence after killing Jones, drove out of the woods with no headlights, watched carefully to make sure he was not seen leaving the area, powerwashed his truck to clean away Jones’s blood and returned home and "hopped into the shower" without waking his sleeping wife.
All with the idea that he would not be identified.
Elliott also had shared that Jones "didn’t even leave a scratch on him," she said.
In Duncan, Elliott also handed over a bag of items and a baseball bat from the Stone attack.
Finally, by April 20, 2012, he was arrested by police. A long debriefing interview became a 117-page transcript submitted as an exhibit.
Not long after that, Sgt. Peter Tewfik facilitated a session in which Elliott faced Bev Stone and Mary Jim together. The meeting was videotaped and a portion of it was shown in court Tuesday.
Tewfik began by telling the women, "We’ve been through a lot with Will. He’s stood up and taken responsibility."
Elliott then said, "I’m so ashamed. I’m truly sorry for taking your loved ones from you guys. I’m not asking for your forgiveness. I’m just sorry."
Jim took Elliott to task for forgetting his community and his heritage.
"You knew my nephews; you grew up with them. My little guy is six years old. He prayed every day. I have good kids. I teach them about respect. Tyeshia never hurt anybody."
Finally, though, her emotions got the better of her.
"What were her last words? She never screamed for me?" she begged a silent Elliott.
Stone tried to be strong, starting by thanking him for his apology, saying she hoped "down the road you find peace with yourself" but she lost control when he admitted to her that her daughter was alive when he set her alight.
"You know, that was her worst fear," she cried.
That video was followed by Ford making the case for a long time behind bars.
Later, when the court reopened after the lunch break, Van Alstine read out parts of victim impact statements.
Bev Stone said she is still haunted by her daughter’s death, saying, "I hear her screams every night when I go to bed," and concluding, "Karrie’s life is not forgotten and never will be as long as I’m alive."
Mary Jim said she had many people telling her to let go, face reality, and try to get past the tragedy.
"But a part of me died," she said. "They ask me how I sleep. Sleep is not the issue, it’s waking up. As parents, we’re not supposed to bury our children."
Van Alstine went on to the pre-sentence report, attempting to show that Elliott’s bad behaviour began very early.
Many attempts have been made to help him, even to help him reconnect with his aboriginal roots, but mostly to no avail, the prosecutor said.
He reminded the court that Elliott’s inability or unwillingness to take up the many chances for rehabilitation that he’s been offered are strong indicators he would remain dangerous if released.
The hearing continues Wednesday.