Verma Trial: Tensions bubble over in Kelowna murder trial

Brittney Irving's brother and defence lawyer clash in Joelon Verma's murder trial

  • Sep. 16, 2013 5:00 a.m.
Brittney Irving and her older brother Jose Macculloch

Brittney Irving and her older brother Jose Macculloch

Tensions bubbled over in a Kelowna courtroom Monday with the brother of murder victim Brittney Irving calling one of the lawyers for her accused killer a “sick prick.”

The exchange began after defence lawyer Alexander Watt laughed when Joze Macculloch testified he had been arrested in 2012 for stealing a bait car.

“You think this is funny?” said Macculloch. “This is the second time you’ve laughed at me.”

Soon after, Watt suggested that Macculloch was doing “no service” to his deceased sister through his testimony.

“Oh, I’m not?” said Macculloch, incredulously. “You sick prick.”

Court was then halted to take the morning break.

Earlier, Watt questioned Macculloch, who has been on the stand since Thursday afternoon, about a number of points in his first statement to police where he didn’t tell officers everything he knew about his sister’s affairs prior to her disappearance.

“I didn’t lie,” said Macculloch. Instead, he “left out” some details which he “made up for the next day” in a second interview, he testified.

He added that he didn’t tell officers everything at the time of the first interview because he didn’t know that his sister “was gone forever.”

However, later in his cross examination he agreed he lied about a phone exchange Irving purportedly had with a man named Joey the day she disappeared.

Macculloch testified it sounded like the man was yelling at Irving, apparently because she couldn’t fulfill the drug order she was working on, but he didn’t tell police about the man yelling in his initial interview.

Macculloch believed the man on the phone not only someone Irving was doing a drug deal with, but was also dating.

Irving’s brother was also questioned about when she told him about the deal and was asked whether she told him about the arrangement as she put on her makeup in the hotel room they shared on the morning of April 5, 2010.

Macculloch said he was told “several times,” about the deal, but couldn’t say if she told him about it when she was putting on her makeup, so he told the court information in his police statement about the conversation was a “lie.”

Irving was last seen alive on April 6, 2010 and her Explorer was located the next day off Philpott Road. Nearly three weeks later, her body was found off of McCulloch Forest Service Road. Joelon Verma is currently on trial, charged with first degree murder in her death.

By Cheryl Wierda, Capital News contributor

Week One:

Jury selection underway in Kelowna murder trial, Sept. 9, 2013

Kelowna’s Brittney Irving shot four time in drug deal, Sept. 10, 2013

Shooting outing planned for day Kelowna’s Brittney Irving disappeared, Sept. 12, 2013

Kelowna Capital News