Edward Kyle Roberts pleaded guilty to two counts of manslaughter on Monday in connection with the two-year-old stabbing deaths of a man and woman in Edmonton.
He was originally charged with first-degree murder in the death of the elderly couple.
Roberts was 30 years old in September 2016 when he broke into the home of Pedro Avalos and stole a steak knife.
According to an agreed statement of facts, a neighbour saw him acting suspiciously and called police.
Roberts continued wandering the neighbourhood and walked a few doors down before breaking into another home. That home belonged to 93-year-old Joao Nascimento and his 81-year-old wife, Maria Nascimento.
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Watch below: In September 2016, Sarah Kraus filed this report after an Edmonton man had been charged with two counts of first-degree murder in connection with the death of an elderly couple at their High Park home in north Edmonton.
Another neighbour went to check on the Nascimentos and saw Roberts inside the house, wielding a knife. Roberts told the neighbour he bought the house and was the new owner but the man knew that was not the case. This information was relayed to police.
The Nascimentos had been married for 40 years. They were well-known by their neighbours and were avid gardeners.
According to an agreed statement of facts, Roberts broke down their front door and stabbed the couple repeatedly using the stolen steak knife.
Edward Kyle Roberts post-arrest. Courtesy: Court of Queens Bench
Edward Kyle Roberts post-arrest.
Courtesy: Court of Queens Bench
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When officers arrived, they contained the home and eventually used flashbangs to scare Roberts, allowing them to get inside.
On Monday, court heard that when Roberts was arrested by police, he was in a psychotic mental state after consuming “intoxicating substances,” however, the Crown and defence disagreed over whether mental illness also played a role in Roberts’ violent acts.
Witnesses in the area at the time described Roberts as being “whacked out and confused.” They said he was wearing shorts and a T-shirt when it was very cold outside. They also said his eyes were wide open and looking in all directions without focusing on anything.
During an interview with police, Roberts said he “stole the knife from the house to complete the mission of killing the old people.”
A sentencing hearing continues for the rest of the week and then will continue in the spring.
Roberts remains in custody.