BRITISH COLUMBIA

Victim's family cries in court as accused B.C. killer details murder in video

03/07/2014 01:38 EST | Updated 05/07/2014 05:59 EDT
KAMLOOPS, B.C. - A man charged with manslaughter in a 1999 slaying has told a B.C. Supreme Court jury that he beat his friend but didn't kill him and bury his body.

Rob Smith, 46, is facing one count each of manslaughter and interfering with a dead body in connection with the death of Sandy Charlie, whose remains were accidentally unearthed by an excavator on Crown land in Lytton in 2011.

The trial has already seen a video in which Smith told an undercover officer that he twice beat Charlie, threw him down the stairs and buried him after discovering the man wasn't breathing.

"I ended up killing somebody and I just dug a hole and put him in it," Smith said in the video filmed in August 2012. "I imagine the body's still there. It's been quite a long time."

Charlie's family members cried and consoled each other as they heard Smith describe how he killed the First Nations man.

But on Friday, Smith said he beat Charlie, a First Nations man, because he was calling him racist names and poking fun at his half-native sister.

"He said something like `white shit' to me," Smith said. "And that's when I got mad. I punched him in the face. He hit the floor and I went down and gave him a couple more shots. He was knocked out."

Smith said he left Charlie alone until he regained consciousness a few minutes later.

"I told him I felt bad about it and I apologized to him."

In the video, Smith said Charlie had been a witness to a domestic altercation involving Smith and his then-girlfriend.

Smith said Charlie went to police and he wound up behind bars.

When Smith was released from the Kamloops Regional Correctional Centre, he invited Charlie to the woman's house in Lytton for drinks and beat him unconscious until he felt no pulse, court heard in the video.

"I dragged him over to the side of the house and then I just went and dug the hole."

Court has heard Smith became a suspect in 2007, but was never arrested due to a lack of evidence.

That changed when Charlie's body was uncovered accidentally by an excavator working on Crown land five years later.

"Did you want to kill him?" the undercover officer, identified in court as C.F., asked Smith in the video.

"No, but I wanted to hurt him really bad," Smith replied. "It just happened."

On Thursday, Smith told court that he was just boasting and hoped to get in with the supposed criminal organization set up by the RCMP.

(Kamloops This Week)