Steven Kenneth Frederickson admitted to police that he engaged in a bloody fight with Robert-Jan Planje the night he went missing, Crown counsel Paul Blessin told the court at the beginning of Frederickson's murder trial Monday.
Frederickson, a deaf crack addict, is charged with the December 2010 murder of the 64-year-old Planje, a lay minister at Chilliwack United Church.
Frederickson, the son of a close friend of Planje, had come to live with the older man in late 2010.
On the afternoon of Dec. 12, Mounties were called to Planje's Ashwell Road mobile home. There, they arrested Frederickson for breaching the peace in order "to defuse the situation." Frederickson, then 44, was later released without charges having been laid.
The Crown alleges that Frederickson returned that evening to Rainbow Estates mobile home park and commenced a fight with Planje.
Through a window, one neighbour saw Frederickson push Planje in the home's kitchen around 2: 30 a.m.
Seventy-five minutes later, another neighbour was awoken by banging noises coming from the home. Blessin told the court that a third neighbour witnessed Planje's roommate drag "something that look like a rolled up carpet" to the back of Planje's Toyota Camry and load it inside.
The following day, Blessin said Frederickson and a female friend
drove to a crack shack in Planje's vehicle and bought crack cocaine. Blessin said Frederickson also pawned a ring owned by Planje that morning.
That afternoon, Mounties arrested Frederickson as he left Planje's car. Inside the Camry, police found a pair of bloody jeans. Mounties also executed a search warrant on Planje's home and found blood belonging to both men throughout the trailer, along with a bloodied and crumpled eviction notice in a trash can.
On Dec. 30, 2010, Planje's body was found down an embankment off of American Creek Forest Service Road near Hope. He was dressed only in his underwear.
The cause of his death was later revealed to be blunt force injuries to his head.
Blessin said Frederickson admitted to police that he had fought with Planje, that he had stripped him of his clothes, and that he had taken his car. But Frederickson told police said Planje was alive when he las saw him.
The admissibility of those statements as evidence is expected to be contested by Frederickson's defence lawyer, Ken Beatch.
The trial is expected to last into April and Blessin said he and co-counsel John Hempstead expect to call more than 30 witnesses to make their case.
Beatch, meanwhile, intends to contest the admissibility of much of the Crown's evidence, including hearsay statements attributed to Planje, and statements Frederickson made following his arrest. Beatch is also expected to raise issues surrounding his client's access to counsel and the search warrants executed both on Planje's house and car.
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