Accused in Kelowna hammer death denied knowledge of death

Ruff told police he found Warren Welters, 51, face down on his bed in the home they shared

A Kelowna man on trial for the 2015 murder of his roommate denied any knowledge of what happened when speaking to police on the day of the crime.

Daniel Ruff told police he found Warren Welters, 51, face down on his bed in the Bernard Avenue home they shared, with blood pooling around him — a stark contrast from the shape he’d left him in.

In a statement taken by Const. Paul Mlait, Ruff said the last time he saw his roommate alive was about 8: 30 a.m. June. 14, 2013.

“He came out and I was just drinking coffee and he asked if I was going for a run … a beer run,” Ruff told Mlait, in a recorded statement that was played for jurors Wednesday.

“I said, ‘no.’”

Then, said Ruff, he went out to see friends.

Upon his return later in the day, he went upstairs, knocked on Welter’s door and asked if he wanted to go for a beer.

When he didn’t respond he told police he opened the door, saw blood splatter, touched Welters and called 911.

Mlait then asked Ruff what he thought happened.

“He looked like he got smoked in the back of the head,” Ruff said, pointing out that there was blood splatter on the walls.

Crown counsel Colin Forsyth said in opening statements that Welters likely was killed the night before, after an altercation with Ruff.

Forsyth alleged that Ruff struck an unconscious Welters in the head four times with a hammer. Medical records support the theory.

Forsyth told jurors that the two often fought and tempers flared that night when Welters drunkenly insulted a woman at their home.

Welters went to bed and Ruff went out. Upon returning home, Crown counsel said Ruff got a hammer, and hit an unconscious Welters in the head with a hammer.

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