John Albert Buchanan, accused in the September 2017 murder of Richard Sitar in Nanaimo, is currently standing trial in B.C. Supreme Court in Nanaimo. (News Bulletin file)

John Albert Buchanan, accused in the September 2017 murder of Richard Sitar in Nanaimo, is currently standing trial in B.C. Supreme Court in Nanaimo. (News Bulletin file)

Man accused in Nanaimo beating death told police he didn’t hurt victim

Arresting officer takes the stand in John Albert Buchanan’s second-degree murder trial

Video evidence showed the man accused in a beating death became agitated while being questioned by police after he was apprehended.

John Albert Buchanan is on trial in B.C. Supreme Court in Nanaimo for the second-degree murder of Richard Sitar in 2017, and on Thursday the court was shown video of Buchanan being interviewed by Nanaimo RCMP.

Buchanan was arrested at 5:45 p.m. on Sept. 13, 2017, two days after Sitar’s death, near a property on 150 Nicol St. Buchanan was residing in a shack in the backyard there and the arresting officer recounted the day’s events in court Thursday.

Buchanan was taken to the Nanaimo RCMP detachment where he admitted he had taken 0.1 grams of heroin, although the officer told Catherine Hagen, co-Crown counsel, that he didn’t observe any impairment. The police officer interviewed Buchanan at about 10 p.m. that night.

During the interview, Buchanan denied being involved in Sitar’s death and said he was shocked to hear that he had been killed. Buchanan told the officer he last saw Sitar the afternoon he was killed, and didn’t know what happened to him, although he heard on the street that Sitar had “his head banged in or something.”

After the officer showed video stills of Buchanan entering the building shortly before the time of the murder, the accused began questioning the time stamp of the images and said police had been harassing he and his girlfriend.

The officer suggested that Buchanan went back to his residence afterward and immediately changed his clothes, which Buchanan said he didn’t recall. Buchanan also told the officer he had “head injury issues.”

RELATED: Murder trial begins in case of man beaten in Nanaimo

RELATED: Second-degree murder charge in Nicol Street murder

Buchanan said he returned to his place where he found someone attempting to steal a radio from him. He said he was a nice guy who let people including Sitar push him around.

“He [expletive] beat me up, knocked me out, [expletive] punched me in the head, hit me with [stuff], he’s a [expletive] [expletive] man,” Buchanan said. “I didn’t hurt him. I left … it’s all I can tell you.”

Buchanan referred to a pepper-spraying incident involving he and Sitar at the McDonald’s on Nicol Street in June 2017, where his name was on the police information sheet and after which, he said Sitar “smashed” him up. Buchanan said he was terrified of Sitar.

Last week in court, a corporal with Nanaimo RCMP Integrated Forensic Section testified about searching the backyard of the 150 Nicol St. residence during execution of a search warrant Sept. 14-15, 2017.

She told Leanne Mascolo, co-Crown counsel, that police were looking for a dark-coloured baseball cap with the letter B on the front, a lime green-coloured T-shirt, dark pants, black backpack, white shoes with a dark stripe and a cross-strap satchel. Items matching those descriptions were seized.

During testing at the RCMP precinct, it was discovered that the T-shirt had minuscule stains, which the corporal said tested positive for the presence of blood. The backpack, satchel and a shoe had stains that also tested positive.

Upon cross-examination by Michael Munro, defence counsel, the corporal said besides a duvet cover inside Buchanan’s shelter, from which a swab was taken, there were no items that seemed to have freshly dried blood.

The forensic section officer also said that there are a lot of compounds that create false positive results with the Hemastix Presumptive Blood Test used, one of which is dirt.

The trial is scheduled to continue until Nov. 25.



reporter@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Courtmurder trial

Just Posted

The Nanaimo Timbermen and Victoria Shamrocks compete in Western Lacrosse Association action in Nanaimo during the 2019 season. (News Bulletin file photo)
WLA cancels another senior A lacrosse season due to COVID-19

Western Lacrosse Association, Major Series Lacrosse announce cancellation of Mann Cup

Nanaimo City Hall. (News Bulletin file photo)
City of Nanaimo adopts this year’s tax rates, sends out property tax bills

City says tax increase will amount to $68 for a typical household

Nanaimo RCMP asked the public for help finding a 60-year-old who had been missing since May 9. He has since been found. (Photo submitted)
UPDATE: Nanaimo man located after he had been missing more than a week

Police had expressed concern, noting 60-year-old requires daily medication

A turn-control median at the intersection of Opal and Rock City Roads. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Nanaimo council sticks with Opal Road decision despite residents’ call for reconsideration

Opal Road delegation claims ‘breakdown in the democratic process’

North Cedar Volunteer Fire Department crews at the scene of a single-vehicle crash on Barnes Road near Holden Corso Road in Cedar. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Jeep rolls over on wet afternoon in Nanaimo, occupants OK

Incident happened Monday on Barnes Road in Cedar

North Cedar Volunteer Fire Department crews at the scene of a single-vehicle crash on Barnes Road near Holden Corso Road in Cedar. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Jeep rolls over on wet afternoon in Nanaimo, occupants OK

Incident happened Monday on Barnes Road in Cedar

A prowling coyote proved no match for a stray black cat who chased it out of a Port Moody parking lot Friday, May 14. (Twitter/Screen grab)
VIDEO: Little but fierce: Cat spotted chasing off coyote by Port Moody police

The black cat is seen jumping out from under a parked car and running the wild animal out of a vacant lot

The new wing at the Victoria International Airport opened up on Thursday (File contributed/YYJ)
Pandemic takes ‘hundreds of millions’ out of Victoria Airport, Vancouver Island economy

Airport authority head says passenger volumes down as much as 98 per cent

The top photo is of a real carbine rifle, while the bottom photo is the airsoft rifle seized from a Kelowna man on May 15. (Contributed)
RCMP issue warning: ‘Imitation firearms need to be dealt with responsibly’

A man brandishing his airsoft rifle in public had his weapon seized by Mounties on Saturday

Reigning women’s World Champion Kaetlyn Osmond, who also took bronze at the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, will debut two brand new programs for the 2021 Stars On Ice tour, in Victoria May 15. (File photo)
Kurt Browning, Elvis Stojko hit the ice when Stars On Ice returns to Vancouver Island

The star-studded lineup is makes a return after pandemic hiatus

Abbotsford Regional Hospital. (Black Press Media files)
Canada marks 25,000 COVID-19 deaths since the pandemic began

6 in every 10,000 Canadians died of COVID-19 since March 9, 2020

Staff-Sgt. Svend Nielsen, with the 100 Mile House RCMP. (Melissa Smalley - 100 Mile Free Press)
14-year-old boy killed in serious ATV crash near 100 Mile House

Youth was travelling with a group of peers when the incident occurred last Friday

Relief is coming for B.C.’s struggling tourism sector. (NEWS file photo)
B.C. officials set to announce more support for tourism sector hit hard by pandemic

Non-essential travel is restricted between three regional zones in B.C. until at least May 24

This image released by Universal Pictures shows Nathalie Emmanuel, left, and Vin Diesel in a scene from “F9.” (Giles Keyte/Universal Pictures via AP)
The blockbuster movie is making a comeback this summer

Excitement in the industry is growing again for a return to a big-screen normal

Most Read