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‘There’s more to the story’: Accused Kelowna murderer alludes to ‘witchcraft’

Lorence Williams is facing charges of second degree murder regarding the May 30, 2021, death of his roommate Thomas Chadwick
Lorence Williams is charged with second-degree murder. (Contributed)

On the third week of the 45-day murder trial, a BC Supreme Courtroom in Kelowna heard a recording where a man accused of murder said he knew that he committed a crime but claimed there is “more to the story.”

Lorence Williams is facing charges of second-degree murder in relation to an incident that resulted in the death of his roommate Thomas Chadwick on May 30, 2021, at their home on Sexsmith Road in Kelowna.

Chadwick’s beaten body was found by the landlord of the house, Cornell Fisher on the night of May 30. Fisher’s then-girlfriend Katherine Reimer, who was also a resident of the house at the time of the incident, gave evidence earlier in the trial as a witness. Reimer told the court that Chadwick’s body appeared to have been laid out at the base of the entrance of their house, “almost like a sacrifice.”

In a Kelowna courtroom on March 20, interviews from when Williams was in police custody on June 2, after being arrested for charges of second-degree murder, were played for the court.

In the audio and video recordings, Williams is interviewed by Const. Shelagh Mitchell from the Kelowna RCMP Serious Crime Team. Mitchell took the stand as a witness, on March 20.

“I’m not saying I’m trying to justify my actions but I just need to get my side of the story out… I’m not trying to deny what happened Sunday,” said Williams when asked about the fatal incident.

READ MORE: Police called to Kelowna home multiple times before roommate’s murder: Witness

In the recordings, Williams is heard repeatedly asking to speak with his lawyer and expressing fear saying that he could not trust anybody, including law enforcement. Williams said he wanted to tell his lawyer his version of events before telling the police.

In the recordings, Mitchell told Williams that he would have the opportunity to speak with his lawyer after being transferred to the Okanagan Correctional Centre.

“I am not saying what I did was right, but there is a story to it,” said Williams in the recording.

“I need to face my consequences, I know the crime I’ve done.”

In the recordings heard by the court, Williams said that strange things were happening in and around the house leading up to Chadwick’s death.

At one point, Williams asked the officers interrogating him if they understood witchcraft or sorcery. Earlier in the trial, the court heard evidence given by Fisher, who was Williams’ landlord and housemate, that Williams was allegedly engaging in “evil voodoo.”

Both Williams and Fisher are from Jamaica. Fisher told the court that as a Jamaican he was aware of voodoo practices, and wanted to distance himself from Williams’ behaviour.

READ MORE: Witness discusses voodoo and its relation to 2021 Kelowna murder

Williams said that he called the police the day before Chadwick’s death because he wanted them to investigate what he says were abnormal, potentially spiritual and significant occurrences in and around the house.

Earlier in the trial the court heard that Mounties and the Police and Crisis Team (PACT), who are mental health specialists, attended the house and spoke to Williams on May 29.

At the time, police determined that Williams was not a threat to himself or others. A 2022 investigation into the Kelowna RCMP and their involvement with Williams prior to Chadwick’s death concluded that there was no police wrongdoing.

In the recording, Williams told police that they needed to “investigate the yard,” specifically noting a mound of dirt that was described as looking like a grave.

Williams said that the mound has a lot of significance and called it a “sacrificial thing,” but said that he could not elaborate until after he spoke with his lawyer.

He also told police that the three other people living in the house– Fisher, Reimer and Chadwick– are “not good people.”

He told the interviewing officers that believes he was drugged while living at the house. Williams told police he purchased a joint of marijuana from Fisher two nights before the incident and woke up the next morning feeling weird and not himself.

Williams said that on the day prior to and of Chadwick’s death, he felt as though he was in a “trance.”

Williams also said that he is not “crazy” and was aware of his actions on the night of the incident.

“I was still conscious of what I was doing. I prayed through it all,” said Williams to the police.

Williams had moved to Canada from Jamaica, leaving behind his wife and daughter, in order to pursue education.

In the recording, Mitchell told Williams that she had spoken with his wife over the phone. Mitchell said Williams’ wife told her that she had been worried for her husband’s wellbeing as he had not been himself over the past few days.

Williams had been a soldier in Jamaica and was working in a warehouse in Kelowna while attending classes at the time of the incident.

Williams had been living with Fisher for only a short period of time before being asked to move out so that Reimer could move into the house. According to Fisher and Reimer, tensions began to escalate after Williams was asked to move out.

Both Reimer and Fisher told the court that Williams’s behaviour had become increasingly frightening in the days leading up to Chadwick’s death.

The trial will continue on Thursday, March 21, with Mitchell still on the stand as a witness.

Jacqueline Gelineau

About the Author: Jacqueline Gelineau

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