A Fraser Valley man admitted to police that he had killed a woman found dead in his Kamloops hotel room, a judge has been told.
David Albert Miller, 69, is charged with first-degree murder in connection with the 2016 death of 52-year-old Debra Novacluse, whose body was found in a first-floor room at the Super 8 Motel on Hugh Allan Drive in Aberdeen on Aug. 27, 2016.
Miller’s trial began on Monday, Jan. 13, in B.C. Supreme Court in Kamloops. In a brief opening statement, Crown prosecutor Monica Fras said the trial will begin with 12 hours of audio and video recordings of Miller’s interactions with police following his arrest.
Court heard police were called to the hotel on Aug. 27, 2016, after cleaning staff went into Room 112 and found a blood-soaked mattress with a sleeping bag underneath it.
Fras said police found Novacluse’s body in the sleeping bag and video surveillance from the hotel showed Miller leaving alone hours earlier.
According to Fras, Novacluse’s car was found abandoned in Calgary.
Testifying on Monday, Kamloops RCMP Cpl. Derrick Gladdish said WestJet Airlines staff told police Miller had flown from Calgary to Ottawa, adding that cellphone pings placed him in Brockville, Ont., a city of 22,000 about an hour south of the nation’s capital.
Gladdish said he and a team of Kamloops Mounties flew to Ontario on Aug. 31. He said an RCMP surveillance team was tracking Miller’s movements in the meantime.
Mounties arrested Miller on Sept. 1, 2016, after he began to hitchhike west toward Toronto. Kamloops investigators found him lying on the grass in a stand of trees adjacent to a highway off-ramp in Napanee, an hour west of Brockville.
At the time of his arrest, police said Miller and Novacluse travelled together from Abbotsford to Kamloops. The pair spent two nights at the Super 8 Motel before Miller drove to Calgary.
Miller’s trial is scheduled to last five weeks.
Prosecutors have said they expect the playback of audio and video recordings to wrap up on Friday. Fras said the recordings include a statement in which Miller “admits to causing the death” of Novacluse.