‘I didn’t know I killed anyone,’ Tyler Hikoalok tells arresting officer, murder trial heard

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Tyler Hikoalok told his arresting officer that he had been ‘black drunk’ a few days earlier and had no memory of a murder when police arrested him downtown and charged him with sexual assault and first-degree murder, his trial announced Thursday.

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The jury also heard testimony on Thursday from a teacher who had known Hikoalok for years as a student at an alternative high school on Albert Street and said she had noted no signs of intoxication – describing him as “ordinary Tyler” – when Hikoalok showed up at school about an hour after the murder.

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“I was dead drunk a few days ago,” he told the constable. Steven Luchies on May 27, 2018, three days after church librarian Elisabeth Salm was found brutally beaten and sexually assaulted in the Christian Science reading room. Salm was rushed to hospital and died the following day.

Hikoalok pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder in a murder that prosecutors described as a “vicious and brutal attack”.

Hikoalok looked “sad” when police informed him of the charges, Luchies told the jury Thursday, and looked down at the sidewalk and stopped before continuing to speak to the officer.

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“I didn’t know I had killed anyone,” Hikoalok told Luchies, the officer said.

Hikoalok then repeated that he was “black drunk” and mumbled something the officer couldn’t understand before saying, “I woke up on the sidewalk,” Luchies said.

“What is wrong with me?” the officer heard Hikoalok say.

He continued to speak briefly during the arrest, where Luchies read him his rights to an attorney as other officers arrived.

Hikoalok repeated several times: “I didn’t know that I had killed anyone,” he testified.

Luchies testified that he did not share any information with Hikoalok about the victim or the time of the murder.

Hikoalok complied with the officers’ instructions and there were no difficulties in arresting him, Luchies said, as he grabbed the black backpack and shoes Hikoalok was carrying. He then turned them over to homicide detectives, the jury heard in testimony earlier this week.

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Luchies told the court he was part of the surveillance team tasked with tracking down and following Hikoalok on the day of the arrest.

The surveillance team saw Hikoalok exit a reception center on Besserer Street with two other people, a man and a woman, as police followed him through the ByWard Market to Rideau Street, where they saw Hikoalok asking for cigarettes outside the McDonald’s. He was under team surveillance the entire time, Luchies told the court.

It was around 3:20 p.m. and they continued to watch Hikoalok as he returned to Besserer Street and headed toward the southwest intersection of Rideau Street and Nelson Street, where police intervened to proceed with the search. the arrest.

The “withdraw” order came around 4:30 p.m. after Luchies was told there were grounds to arrest Hikoalok for sexual assault and murder.

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Luchies testified that he did not notice any signs of intoxication during his interaction with Hikoalok.

Tracy Ludmer, a former teacher at the Debbie Campbell Learning Academy at 440 Albert St., also testified Thursday and told the court she also didn’t notice any signs of intoxication when Hikoalok showed up at school. just before 11 a.m. on May 24, 2018.

The jury was shown clips of a police-prepared composite video that begins with Salm arriving at the Laurier Avenue reading room just before 9 a.m.

Officers would later identify Hikoalok as the suspect in the video as he is seen wearing a hoodie and dark clothing walking up the entry ramp towards the front door around 9:14 a.m. before disappearing from view of the camera.

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The same character is seen again at 10:21 a.m. emerging from a separate door leading out of the building’s parking lot, according to testimony heard earlier this week.

Ludmer said he recognized Hikoalok as the man seen in security footage entering the school about 40 minutes later that day. Hikoalok wore shorts and a t-shirt and wore his hat.

Ludmer noticed that he had recently changed his appearance – he had shaved his head.

Ludmer testified that Hikoalok was a student taking Grade 10 and 11 classes there — she had taught there since 2015, she said — but he left the program after his 18th birthday in January 2018.

She still saw him drop by school two or three times a week, Ludmer said, and she said she hadn’t noticed his new haircut when she saw Hikoalok the day before. He normally wore a hat, she said,

Ludmer described Hikoalok as an “observant and funny” student. His behavior was “the same as usual” as he stayed nearly two hours that day, interacted with Ludmer and other students, had lunch and then left, she said. She never saw him again after that day.

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