(Kamloops this Week)

Man charged with killing woman in Kamloops motel room claims he ‘blacked out’

Debra Novacluse of Abbotsford was found beaten to death in a room at a Kamloops motel in 2016.

Kamloops This Week

The man standing trial for the first-degree murder of an Abbotsford woman found dead in a Kamloops motel room in 2016 initially told police he “blacked out” for a period of days during the time she was killed.

Debra Novacluse, 52, was found beaten to death in a first-floor room at the Super 8 Motel on Hugh Allan Drive on Aug. 27, 2016.

David Albert Miller was arrested days later in Ontario.

Prosecutors have said surveillance from the hotel shows that Miller and Novacluse shared a room before she was killed.

Last Thursday, court was shown video of Miller, 69, being interviewed by Kamloops Mounties in Ontario hours after his arrest.

In the video, Miller is leaning back in a chair with his legs crossed, sitting across from RCMP Sgt. Mark Davidson. Under questioning from Davidson, Miller describes the volatile end of his marriage in the weeks leading to his arrest.

“With my situation, I got stress,” Miller said at one point, referencing a workplace accident he suffered years earlier while working as a truck driver.

“I need my space and she wouldn’t leave me alone. … I’d need to clear my head and she’d be yakking at me.”

Miller described an argument with his wife on a camping trip in early August 2016, three weeks before he would be accused of murdering Novacluse.

According to Miller, his final fight with his wife was at a campground near Hope.

“I lost my temper,” he said. “I purposely lost my temper to get my point across and get her to leave me alone.”

His wife called the police and Miller walked to the highway, where he hitchhiked to Kamloops, he said in the video.

Miller told Davidson he spent two or three nights in his Kamloops motel room. He said he became frustrated while in the city and trying to cash out his workers’ compensation payments into a reduced lump sum.

According to Miller, the plan was to buy a $150,000 big rig from a Kamloops dealer and start a trucking company. It fell through.

In the video, Davidson then asked Miller how he ended up in Ontario.

“I don’t know why I’m here,” he replied. “I blacked out. I don’t know. She pissed me off, the WCB worker pissed me off. I got to drinking, smoking some weed. I don’t remember. I’ve been drinking. Stressed out.”

Davidson replied: “I can see, certainly, where the stress is coming from – from everywhere.”

“Too much for me to handle,” Miller said.

Police have said they believe Miller and Novacluse travelled to Kamloops together.

Crown prosecutor Monica Fras said in her opening statement that Miller can be seen on video surveillance leaving the Super 8 in Novacluse’s vehicle, which was later found abandoned in Calgary.

Court has also heard that WestJet Airlines staff told police that Miller flew to Ottawa from Calgary.

Miller’s trial is scheduled to last five weeks.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

We can never say ‘thank you’ enough

Community businesses rally to help Abbotsford News produce special section on first responders during these pandemic times

Canadian police to make home visits to enforce mandatory quarantine for travellers

Police forces have been asked to help verify Canadians are complying with the Quarantine Act

Researchers at UFV looking into effects of pandemic on activity and mental health

Survey is online now to gather data from people of all backgrounds on physical activity changes

Cyrus Centre takes Easter dinner on the road for youth

Centres in Abbotsford and Chilliwack preparing to deliver meals to their youth and families

Abbotsford prison has confirmed COVID-19 case

Pacific Regional Treatment Centre is the third prison in B.C. in a week to confirm case

VIDEO: Easter festivities may be scaled back, but it can still be a fun holiday

COVID-19 circumstances have dictated that the holidays may not be perfect

Lower Mainland hunting store sees 200% increase in firearm sales

Co-owner of Wanstalls says increase due to a variety of reasons

COVID-19 world update: U.S. to start antibody tests; drones enforce lockdown in Italy

Comprehensive update of coronavirus news from around the world

People needing addiction services feeling ‘abandoned’ during pandemic

The province is trying to increase access to addiction care through a phone line of experts, doctors

COVID-19: B.C. ER nurse self-isolates in travel trailer, apart from family

Marcia Kent says situation is difficult but worth it to keep twin boys safe

Cancellations of plant orders prompt advent of pop-up garden shops

A Langley nursery is partnering with local eateries to sell 40 acres of veggie plants and flowers

B.C. unveils $5M for mental health supports during the COVID-19 pandemic

Will include virtual clinics and resources for British Columbians, including front-line workers

B.C.’s COVID-19 rent supplement starts taking applications

$300 to $500 to landlords for April, May and June if eligible

Reality TV show about bodybuilders still filming in Okanagan, amid COVID-19

Five bodybuilders from across the country flew to Kelowna to move into a house for a reality TV show

Most Read