'I considered him my brother,' Vandewater testifies of cellmate he’s accused of murdering
PRINCE ALBERT -- Tyler Vandewater testified Friday that Christopher Van Camp attacked him in their cell the night Van Camp died.
Van Camp, 37, was killed inside Saskatchewan Penitentiary on June 7, 2017. Vandewater is charged with second-degree murder in relation to his death. While out on parole, Van Camp had overdosed and returned to Saskatchewan Penitentiary directly from hospital.
They had been cell mates for three or four months prior to Van Camp’s release. Vandewater told the corrections manager he was comfortable with rooming with Van Camp again, Vandewater told court.
“I considered him my brother. We were family,” Vandewater said.
Van Camp’s body was found by guards in the bottom bunk, laying on his left side towards the wall with his head facing away from the door. He was covered with an orange institution blanket that Vandewater said he wrapped around him.
Van Camp was paranoid and talking about how people where going to get him, Vandewater testified.
He said his cellmate came at him, and he got scratches on his side during the fight, which happened sometime between 11:30 p.m. to 12 a.m., and lasted only a few minutes. He said he used Van Camp’s own sharpened wire to stab him.
“He stopped moving when I was kicking him in the head by the toilet. That’s when I stopped and panicked.”
Vandewater wrapped him in one of his blankets and put one of the shanks beside Van Camp on his bed. He then cleaned up all clothes that had blood on them and put them in a plastic bag under the bed, Vandewater said.
He testified he paced in his cell and sat in his chair, and watched TV.
“I was pretty scrambled.”
Forensic pathologist Dr. Shaun Ladham testified that Van Camp’s body had puncture wounds on the right side of the neck two-to-three centimetres deep; four stab wounds in the upper left chest, two penetrating into the heart and three into the lungs causing a collapsed lung and the thoracic cavity to fill with blood.
This was a significant injury that contributed to his death, Ladham said. The cause of death was blood loss.
Van Camp also had 25 injuries to his upper body and 26 wounds on his face and head.
On Monday, the Crown is scheduled to question Vandewater and the defence will call another inmate to the stand.