A man accused of shooting two roommates in the head and burying them on his property near Kamloops, B.C., has been found guilty.
Roy Fraser was convicted in the death of 31-year-old Damien Marks and 24-year-old Ken Yaretz Jr., whose bodies were found in a shallow grave.
B.C. Supreme Court Justice Ian Josephson called the murders “an unspeakable act of execution-style brutality,” adding the two men had their whole lives ahead of them when they were killed.
Marks and Yaretz Jr. went missing in April, 2009, and their bodies were discovered five weeks later on Fraser’s property on Knuff Lake.
The jury found him guilty of the first-degree murder in the death of Marks and second-degree murder in the death of Yaretz Jr.
The men’s family members burst into tears as the verdict was read Saturday, three days after jurors started deliberating Fraser’s fate.
“There’s never closure,” Ken Yaretz Sr. said outside court. “We live without our boys for the rest of our lives. It’s been a rough five weeks for myself and for my family, for Damien’s family, his mom and dad. I think justice has been done.”
“We’re all going to be able to go home tonight and live our lives through but that doesn’t bring those two men back. Mr. Fraser has a big change in his life.”
Fraser will get an automatic life sentence with no chance of parole for 25 years.
The evidence was largely circumstantial, with no DNA found on the men’s bodies to link Fraser to the crime.
His defence lawyer said anyone could have killed the pair because of Yaretz Jr.’s links to a gang.
But the Crown maintained Fraser had motive to commit the murders because of his history of disagreements with Yaretz Jr., and the discovery of a hidden weapon on the property.
Court heard Yaretz Jr. did not pay Fraser for his share of the work in a marijuana grow-op the two started. He borrowed Fraser’s truck and sold it to a gang affiliate without Fraser’s knowledge.