Contributed photo of Warren Welters.

Contributed photo of Warren Welters.

Kelowna murder trial nears completion

Jurors expected to deliberate next week

Jurors will soon decide the fate of a Kelowna man who is accused of killing his roommate.

Both Crown and defence have called all their evidence and closing submissions are expected to get underway next week.

Warren Welters, 51, was found face down on his bed with four hammer blows to the back of his head June 2015 in a second-floor suite at a Bernard Avenue home.

His room-mate, Daniel Garth Ruff, is charged with second-degree murder and Crown council Colin Forsyth has presented evidence to show that Welters was killed while in bed. Jurors have been given blood spatter evidence, friends have testified about the relationship and police have recounted the night of the crime and their interactions with Ruff.

On Wednesday, however, Ruff told jurors that he did kill his former roommate during a fight two years ago, but he hadn’t intended to.

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“I was in a fight for my life.”

Ruff has COPD and said if he hadn’t fought he would have died.

“When a man who is bigger than you is on you, trying to choke you … I had to fight back,” he said. “I was fighting back.”

The two men had an acrimonious relationship and argued regularly.

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“They were significant (arguments) but we worked our way around it most the time,” he said.

He also said they both drank heavily and the reason he wasn’t forthright with police or the 911 operator in the immediate aftermath of the crime is that he was shaken by all that had occurred.