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Voodoo, witchcraft and surprise guilty plea in Kelowna murder trial

Lorence Williams entered a guilty plea for manslaughter on the 15 day of a 45 day murder trial
Lorence Williams is charged with second-degree murder. (Contributed)

The man accused of bludgeoning his roommate to death has entered a guilty plea in Kelowna’s Supreme Court, on day 15 of what was scheduled to be a 45-day murder trial by jury.

Lorence Williams was facing charges of second-degree murder in relation to an incident that resulted in the death of his roommate Thomas Chadwick on May 30, 2021, at their home on Sexsmith Road in Kelowna.

In court on March 26, Williams entered a guilty plea for the lesser charge of manslaughter.

READ MORE: Witness discusses voodoo and its relation to 2021 Kelowna murder

The 12-person jury has been dismissed and court will reconvene in June for sentencing.

Earlier in the trial, recorded police interviews from when Williams was in custody were played for the court.

READ MORE: ‘There’s more to the story’: Accused Kelowna murderer alludes to ‘witchcraft’

“I am not saying what I did was right, but there is a story to it,” said Williams in the recording when asked about Chadwick’s death.

“I need to face my consequences, I know the crime I’ve done.”

At one point in the recordings, Williams asked the officers interrogating him if they understood witchcraft or sorcery.

“I was still conscious of what I was doing. I prayed through it all,” said Williams to the police in the recording.

Earlier in the trial, the court heard evidence given by Colonel Fisher, who was Williams’ landlord and housemate, that Williams was allegedly engaging in “evil voodoo.”

Both Williams and Fisher are from Jamaica. Fisher told the court that as a Jamaican he was aware of voodoo practices, and wanted to distance himself from Williams’ behaviour.

Williams was living in Kelowna after moving from Jamaica, leaving behind his wife and daughter, in order to pursue education.

Williams had been a soldier in Jamaica and was working in a warehouse in Kelowna while attending classes at the time of the incident.

According to evidence presented earlier in the trial, Williams’ wife, and two of his other roommates had become worried about his mental well-being in the days leading up to the fatal incident.


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Jacqueline Gelineau

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