Colin John has pleaded not guilty to charges of murder and attempted murder. (file photo)

Colin John has pleaded not guilty to charges of murder and attempted murder. (file photo)

Paramedic treated accused killer at the scene

Described strange behaviour of man with minor injuries

The paramedic who treated Colin John minutes after he had been arrested says his patient’s behaviour was strange and mostly unresponsive.

Terry Rempel was testifying at the trial of John who is facing a second-degree murder charge in the death of a 20-year-old Chemainus man, Derek Descoteau. John, also of Chemainus, is also charged with attempted murder related to an attack on Descoteau’s girlfriend, Janelle Guyatt in 2016.

“He was making animalistic grunting sounds and his eyes were rolling up into his head,” Rempel told the court.

Rempel responded to the scene on Caswell Street where two people had been stabbed. When Rempel began treating John, who had been handcuffed and was on his knees on the lawn, he noticed lacerations to both palms and superficial injuries to a wrist and on his forehead. He was, however, covered in blood.

John was subdued while he was on the lawn but had difficulty following instructions from an RCMP officer and Rempel.

“For example, when he was asked to turn left, he’d turn right. He wasn’t following directions as I would expect most people to do,” Rempel recalled.

Concerned about John’s mental state, Rempel made the decision to transport the man to the Nanaimo hospital where emergency room personnel would be equipped to assess the situation.

En route, Rempel says John was mostly silent while being treated.

“When I asked him if he was on any medications, he replied, ‘I don’t do drugs.’ When I asked him if he had any allergies he gave the same response, ‘I don’t do drugs.’”

Rempel was on the stand for more than four hours over two days and while being cross examined by defence counsel Scott Sheets, he testified about an incident that occurred during the preliminary hearing held in July of 2017.

After he had concluded his testimony, Rempel was called back into the courtroom by the sheriff. Evidently the officer had noticed what Rempel had seen as he left the room.

“On my way out I’d glanced at (John) and he seemed to have a potential for some issues. When I came back he was leaning forward with his hands on his legs.

“There were thickened secretions around his mouth and on his shirt. It would be best characterized as drool. The sheriffs were concerned.”

Rempel says as he wiped John’s face, he noticed the defendant’s eyes were focussed straight ahead and even as his head was turned he continued to stare straight ahead.

“He was fixated on something in front of him,” Rempel said.

John needed assistance to stand.

“He was quite limp and I had help to put him in a chair with wheels and he was removed from the courtroom.”

The Supreme Court trial continues Thursday, and is expected to last three weeks.

Just Posted

(File photo)
Poverty reduction survey identifies 10 poverty themes

Poverty reduction plan will be finalized in July 2021

Nanaimo-Ladysmith MP Paul Manly says he has no intentions of leaving the Green Party. (House of Commons image)
Island Green MPs have “no intention” of leaving the party after ‘heartbreaking’ departure

Manly, May only remaining Green MPs after Jenica Atwin left for the Liberals over internal disputes

New COVID-19 cases on Vancouver Island by local health area for the week of May 30-June 5. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control image)
COVID-19 cases drop again almost everywhere on Vancouver Island

Nanaimo had four new cases last week, down from 22 the week before

Justine Keefer’s Cedar Elementary School Grade 6/7 class put together a student paper, as part of a school project. Pictured here Andrew Gregory, left, Felix Leduc, Addison Armstrong, Lucia Walker and Anise Dick. (Karl Yu/News Bulletin)
Cedar Elementary School students create their own newspaper

Grade 6/7 class publishes Wolf Pack News as part of language arts and social studies

People watch a car burn during a riot following game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup final in downtown Vancouver, B.C., in this June 15, 2011 photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Howe
10 years ago: Where were you during the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup Riots?

Smashed-in storefronts, looting, garbage can fires and overturned cars some of the damage remembered today

Port Alberni court house (Alberni Valley News)
Inquest set into 2016 death of B.C. teen after a day spent in police custody

18-year-old Jocelyn George died of heart failure in hospital after spending time in jail cell

Children’s shoes and flowers are shown after being placed outside the Ontario legislature in Toronto on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Ontario commits $10 million to investigate burial sites at residential schools

Truth and Reconciliation Commission identified 12 locations of unmarked burial sites in Ontario

Singer-songwriter Jann Arden is pictured with a draft horse. (Canadian Horse Defence Coalition)
Jann Arden backs petition to stop ‘appalling’ live horse export, slaughter

June 14 is the International Day to End Live Export of Animals

Two hundred and fifteen lights are placed on the lawn outside the Residential School in Kamloops, B.C., Saturday, June, 13, 2021. The remains of 215 children were discovered buried near the former Kamloops Indian Residential School earlier this month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Days after Kamloops remains discovery, Tk’emlups families gather to unite, move ahead

‘We have to work together because this is going to be setting a precedent for the rest of the country’

In this Saturday, May 29, 2021, file photo, people crowd the Santa Monica Pier in Santa Monica, Calif. California, the first state in America to put in place a coronavirus lockdown, is now turning a page on the pandemic. Most of California’s coronavirus restrictions will disappear Tuesday, June 15, 2021. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, File)
With COVID tamed, it’s a ‘grand reopening’ in California

No more state rules on social distancing, no more limits on capacity, no more mandatory masks

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price (31) is scored on by Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Alec Martinez, not pictured, during the second period in Game 1 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup semifinal playoff series Monday, June 14, 2021, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Habs fall 4-1 to Vegas Golden Knights in Game 1 of NHL semifinal series

Match was Montreal’s first game outside of Canada in 2021

Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick, assistant deputy speaker at the B.C. legislature, presides over committee discussions. The legislature is completing its delayed spring session this week, with most MLAs participating by video conference. (Hansard TV)
B.C.’s daily COVID-19 infections dip below 100 over weekend

Only 68 new cases recorded Monday, four additional deaths

Gabriola Island artist Sheila Norgate is promoting the Digital Innovation Group’s art impact survey. (File photo)
Vancouver Island artists get behind regional arts impact study

Artists urged to use their stature to help put arts and culture super-region on the map

Most Read