Neighbours testify on what was heard during stabbing
‘Hear me people. I am God. I am trained to do this.’
Ian Lowes described to police he heard what sounded like a man possessed the night Dr. Andrew Chan was killed at his Haggis Drive home in Peterborough.
He illustrated the voice as a guttural roar that was deep and growly.
“It sounded like someone was having an episode with drugs or a mental breakdown,” Lowes said.
He was one of four of Dr. Chan’s neighbours to testify at his son Thomas Chan’s second-degree murder, attempted murder and aggravated assault trial on Thursday in Superior Court of Justice in Peterborough
The judge alone trial began on Monday and is being heard by Justice Cary Boswell. Chan has pleaded not guilty.
The 21-year-old was charged by Peterborough Police after Dr. Chan was found stabbed to death in his Haggis Drive home. Dr. Chan’s partner, Lynn Witteveen, suffered multiple stab wounds and was airlifted to a Toronto hospital in critical condition. She survived the attack.
“God can’t help me anymore. I am God,” Lowes remembered a man saying during the early morning hours of Dec. 28, 2015.
In his statement to police two days after the incident, Lowes said a man called officers the devil while being arrested by police.
Phillip Powell, who lives directly across the street from Dr. Chan, also testified he heard at man that morning reference God.
“Hear me people. I am God. I am trained to do this. I will do this every Sunday,” Powell told police he heard multiple times that morning.
Perry Huisman, Dr. Chan’s next door neighbour, said voices outside woke him up. He looked out his front window to see what the commotion was. He noticed a car parked in front of his home and a man at the driver’s side window.
“He was pounding on the window saying, ’stay away from my mother, I am not afraid of you,’” Huisman recalled.
The car left and he thought the altercation was over, but not long after he heard the crashing of a window, he said.
“It was so loud,” he explained.
Huisman was worried his vehicle window had been smashed and he went outside to investigate. He didn’t see anything wrong with his vehicle but noticed a window had been broken at Dr. Chan’s home.
Charles Hamilton was the last neighbour to testify what he heard and saw that morning. Out for a cigarette around 3:30 a.m., he noticed a car coming down Haggis Drive. He said the car stopped and he noticed an individual outside the vehicle.
He described the person to be confrontational, angry and agitated. Hamilton recalled a man saying “I don’t want to fight you, man.”
He also testified he heard three strikes to what sounded like car window before the car left the same way it came down Haggis. At this point, he said the person remained in the middle of the road making statements like, “You never loved me,” and “19 years you’ve never been happy with me.”
Through three days of testimony, Boswell has heard evidence from family and friends of Chan. Court heard that on Dec. 27 Chan and six of his friends were hanging out at Chan’s mother’s home on Denure Drive for most of the evening.
According to earlier testimony, at some point it was decided
Chan and three other friends were going to take magic mushrooms.
Those friends have testified that Chan’s behaviour started to change in the early morning hours of Dec. 28.
Chan’s mother, Rosalia Vastano, said she was awoken shortly after 3 a.m. by her son. She, along with Chan’s sister, Christina, testified Chan called them the devil and Satan before running out of the house shoeless and shirtless toward his father’s home, which was a short distance away.
James Sandziuk was one of the first paramedics on the scene. He described seeing blood on the wall and the floor around Dr. Chan.
“He appeared lifeless,” Sandziuk remembers thinking when he approached Dr. Chan in the kitchen as police tried to perform CPR on him.
Sandziuk joined his partner in another room where Witteveen was fighting for life.
“She had multiple injuries of trauma to her face, neck and torso,” Sandziuk recalled.
“All were identified as what appeared to be stab wounds.”
The trial continues Friday.
Dr. Andrew Chan