Saturday July 12, 2014

Cellphones last used on day two men disappeared

Phone records entered as evidence in double-murder trial

Roy Fraser

Damien Marks and Ken Yaretz Jr.’s cellphones were last used April 17, 2009 — the final day friends and relatives heard from the pair.

The Crown also entered evidence Monday showing a call by an RCMP investigator from the Knouff Lake property — where the two friends were found buried a month later — was picked up by the same cell tower in the Rogers network.

The trial of Roy Fraser, accused of first-degree murder of Marks, 31, and second-degree murder of Yaretz, 26, entered its fourth week Monday.

The Crown is expected to close its case early this week. At that point, Fraser’s defence lawyers, Alexander and Jordan Watt, may opt to present evidence.

If not, lawyers on both sides will make final arguments to the B.C. Supreme Court jury in the murder trial.

An expert witness from Rogers’ law enforcement support division testified about phones registered to Ken Yaretz and another to “Dr. Martin Kay.”

But Sharon Barnes said those opting to purchase prepaid plans can use any name they want: “Elvis Presley, Daffy Duck — anything to populate the field,” Barnes said.

Evidence was entered earlier showing Yaretz Jr. and Marks used the phones in calls with friends and family.

The case against Fraser is built on circumstantial evidence. The Crown has suggested that Fraser killed the pair when they went to retrieve Yaretz’s furniture on April 17, 2009.

Witnesses testified that Fraser was angry with Yaretz Jr. for taking his truck for months.

Yaretz Jr., an Independent Soldiers associate, reportedly owed money and was looking for ways to pay off that debt. He’d already loaded up some of Fraser’s grow-op equipment and had taken it away using the Knouff Lake man’s pickup.

Another witness testified he told Yaretz Jr. that he could broker a bighorn sheep and grizzly bear mount for him — specimens that together could fetch more than $85,000.

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