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

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

Just Posted

Police in Nanaimo hope to find the owner of a Giant Reign mountain bike that was seized after a man was spotted riding it without a helmet on the wrong side of the road on Christmas Eve. (Photo submitted)
Nanaimo RCMP suspicious to find expensive bike covered in layer of duct tape

Police looking for owner of Giant Reign mountain bike that they believe was stolen

A still from surveillance footage showing a confrontation in the entranceway at Dolly’s Gym on Nicol Street on Friday morning. (Image submitted)
Troublemaker causes pain and damage at downtown Nanaimo gym

VIDEO: Suspect breaks fire alarm, slams door on business owner’s foot after attempting to defraud her

Scott Saywell, Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools’ superintendent and CEO, has seen his contract renewed for four years, the district announced Wednesday. (SD68 YouTube screenshot)
Nanaimo school district renews superintendent’s contract for four years

‘Singing superintendent’ Scott Saywell under contract through 2024-25 school year

Cyclists pick up swag and cycling trail maps at city Bike to Work Week ‘celebration station’ a few years ago. (News Bulletin file photo)
City of Nanaimo’s active transportation plan will be about more than infrastructure

City working on goals to double walking trips and quintuple cycling and busing trips

Nanaimo RCMP seek public assistance after numerous tire slashings between Jan. 12-14. (News Bulletin file)
20 tires punctured in ‘slashing spree’ in Nanaimo

Nanaimo RCMP ask for any tips about Jan. 12-14 incidents in Country Club and Boxwood areas

Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry head for the press theatre at the B.C. legislature for an update on COVID-19, Jan. 7, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 spread steady with 509 new cases Friday

Hospitalized and critical care cases decline, nine deaths

Seasonal influenza vaccine is administered starting each fall in B.C. and around the world. (Langley Advance Times)
After 30,000 tests, influenza virually nowhere to be found in B.C.

COVID-19 precautions have eliminated seasonal infection

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau listens to a question during a news conference outside Rideau cottage in Ottawa, Friday, January 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau says Canada’s COVID vaccine plan on track despite Pfizer cutting back deliveries

Canadian officials say country will still likely receive four million doses by the end of March

Jobs Minister Ravi Kahlon shared a handwritten note his son received on Jan. 13, 2021. (Ravi Kahlon/Twitter)
Proud dad moment: B.C. minister’s son, 10, receives handwritten note for act of kindness

North Delta MLA took to Twitter to share a letter his son received from a new kid at school

Lilly and Poppy, two cats owned by Kalmar Cat Hotel ownder Donna Goodenough, both have cerebellAr hypoplasia, a genetic neurological condition that affects their ability to control their muscles and bones. Photo by Alistair Taylor – Campbell River Mirror
VIDEO: Wobbly Cats a riot of flailing legs and paws but bundles of love and joy to their owner

Woman urges others to not fear adopting cats with disabilities

Dr. Shannon Waters, the medical health officer for the Cowichan Valley Region, is reminding people to stay the course with COVID-19 measures. (File photo)
‘Stay the course’ with COVID measures, Island Health reminds

Limit social activity, wash hands, wear a mask, and isolate if you feel sick

Cowichan Tribes members line up at a drive-up clinic on Wednesday, Jan. 13 to receive the first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine in the region. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
BCAFN condems racism against Cowichan Tribes after COVID-19 outbreak

“Any one of us could do everything right and still catch the virus”: Regional Chief Terry Teegee.

Chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam provides an update on the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa on Friday, Jan. 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada’s top doctor says to avoid non-essential travel as B.C. explores legal options

Premier John Horgan says he is seeking legal advice on whether it can limit interprovincial travel

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Most Read