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Kachkar told detectives he didn't remember snowplow incident

02/22/2013 12:40 EST | Updated 04/24/2013 05:12 EDT
Richard Kachkar told detectives, one day after he drove a snowplow erratically through Toronto streets and struck a police officer, that he didn't remember what happened.

Audio of the Jan. 13, 2011, police interview was played for Kachkar's murder trial inside a Toronto courtroom Friday.

Detectives interviewed Kachkar at his hospital bed at Toronto's St. Michael's Hospital, where he was recovering from wounds due to gunshots fired by police in an effort to stop him from continuing to drive the stolen snowplow, the CBC's Jasmine Seputis reported.

When officers told him he was being arrested for the murder of Sgt. Ryan Russell, he responded: "I don't know what happened yesterday. I don't know."

Kachkar later says he has a lawyer, but could not recall a name. When asked where he was born, Kachkar doesn't respond.

A day earlier, on Jan. 12, 2011, Kachkar drove through the streets of Toronto in a stolen snowplow, which struck Sgt. Russell and other vehicles on the road.

Russell, an 11-year-police veteran, was later pronounced dead in hospital. The officer left behind a wife and a young son.

Memory 'blurry' during interview in prison

Other responding officers tried to stop Kachkar with Tasers, but later drew their weapons and shot him twice. He had two bullets lodged in his body when police pulled him out of the snowplow.

Kachkar, 46, has pleaded not guilty to charges of first-degree murder and dangerous driving in Russell's death.

While there is no dispute that Kachkar was driving the snowplow on that winter morning, what is in question is the accused's state of mind.

Jurors have already heard that Kachkar seemed "emotionally disturbed" the day that Sgt. Russell was killed.

In the audio recording of the Jan. 13, 2011, interview by police detectives played on Friday, Kachkar could be heard saying a number of times that he did not remember what happened, the CBC's Steven D'Souza reported.

Video footage of a later interview with a detective while Kachkar was at Maplehurst Correctional Facility in Milton, Ont., was also shown at the trial.

In the video, filmed on Jan. 25, 2011, Kachkar is seen in the prison's medical wing wearing an orange jumpsuit, with his arm in a sling.

"I don't know what happened … something like this has never happened to me in my life," he could be heard saying, adding his memory was "blurry".

'Sorry isn't even the word'

He told them he didn't remember the arrest, or being shot by police — just waking up in the ambulance.

"I know I did something wrong, I did something stupid," he said. "I have a hard time recalling it."

Speaking about the night before the crash, which he spent in the Good Shepherd shelter, he said: "I don't know if someone put pills in my drink or if something happened, that's where I'm at right now."

He also said, to Sgt. Russell's family, "Sorry isn't even the word."

"It's an accident, it wasn't meant to be … Kids without their daddy coming home, wife without husband," he was heard saying.

Kachkar also talked to detectives about dealing with depression.

"I get so depressed by myself," he said. Kachkar added that he sometimes didn't want to eat, or go anywhere.

"You just lose everything, you don't care about things."

The trial continues.

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