Trial Begins for Accused Killer of Kelowna Man

Trial Begins for Accused Killer of Kelowna Man

The trial for the accused killer of Darren Middleton, a 49-year-old man from Kelowna, began on Monday. Gabriella Sears, Middleton’s common-law spouse, is facing charges of second-degree murder and indecent interference with human remains. Sears, who identifies as a woman and goes by the name Gabriella or Gabby, was previously known as Dereck Sears.

During the trial’s first day of testimony, Const. Jimmy Chau of the RCMP Forensic Identification Section took the stand. He presented a video recording of the crime scene, which showed Middleton’s partially clothed body lying next to a bathtub with running water. The scene also revealed four weapons, including an X-Acto knife and a baseball bat. Middleton had suffered blunt force trauma to the head, stab wounds, and defensive injuries. His penis had been severed, and his testicles were missing.

Crown prosecutor David Grabavac stated in his opening statement that Middleton’s DNA was found on at least three of the weapons, while Sears’s DNA was identified on a bloody handprint near the bathroom. The autopsy revealed that Middleton died from blunt force trauma, and some of the wounds were inflicted post-mortem.

Brenda Adams, Middleton’s common-law wife, testified that she discovered his body at Sears’s home on Sycamore Road in the early morning hours of June 17, 2021. Adams had been searching for Middleton after he failed to return from picking up a load of turf for their landscaping company. She described their relationship with Sears, who occasionally did odd jobs for them, and mentioned that Sears had recently revealed her gender identity.

Adams recounted the events leading up to Middleton’s death, including Sears’s unusual behavior and her encounter with Sears near their employer’s property. After hours of searching, Adams went to Sears’s house and found Middleton’s body in the bathroom. She observed blood throughout the bathroom, a deep slice in Middleton’s throat, and his severed penis with an X-Acto blade nearby.

The trial will continue with further testimonies and evidence presented.


Author: CrimeDoor

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