A Peterborough woman testified that she suffered multiple life-altering injuries while watching her partner be killed as the murder trial for Thomas Chan resumed at Superior Court on Monday morning.
An emotional Lynn Witteveen took the stand as she grasped a man’s tie “for comfort,” claiming it belonged to Dr. Andrew Chan, the father of Thomas Chan.
LISTEN: Lynn Witteveen’s 911 call on Dec. 28, 2015
“I see Thomas, I see Thomas,” she sobbed at the start of her testimony, prompting a short recess to allow her to regain her composure.
Chan, 21, has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder in the death of Dr. Chan and attempted murder of Witteveen on the night of Dec. 28, 2015. His trial started on Sept. 10.
Police responded to a 911 call and found the gastroenterologist dead and Witteveen with serious injuries inside Dr. Chan’s Haggis Drive home. Thomas, then 18, was arrested at the scene. He was released on bail in April 2016.
Witteveen told the court she and Dr. Chan worked together and began their relationship in 2010. She recalled three days before the alleged attack about a Christmas Day brunch with the Chan family. They opened gifts and on Boxing Day went to a movie together.
The Crown asked her to recall the events of Dec. 28, 2015. She told the court she was woken by yelling and heard Thomas say, “This is this is the day of reckoning.”
Witteveen says she went into the kitchen where she saw Dr. Chan and Thomas who was holding a knife. She claims Dr. Chan had his arms out and said, “Thomas, it’s daddy, it’s daddy.”
“And he stabbed him. And I just stood there… I just stood there watching,” Witteveen testified.
She told the court Dr. Chan fell to the floor and Thomas then turned to her. She said it felt like he punched her in the stomach but she realized she had been stabbed.
She added she tried to escape and put her hands up to protect herself.
“He stabbed me there, he stabbed me in my chest,” she said, pointing to areas on her body.
She managed to reach the master bedroom and called 911 as Thomas followed her.
Lying on the bed, Witteveen says she told Thomas, “I love you,” and that he replied, “I loved you, too,” and then stabbed her again.
Court heard Witteveen’s 911 call in which she tells an operator she had been stabbed and attempts to provide an address, punctuated by screaming while a male voice is heard yelling in the background.
The operator repeatedly asks if Witteveen can hear her. Finally she responds “OK, oh God,” and the call ends.
The Crown then asked her to outline her injuries. She says she has had eight surgeries, which included the removal of her right eye and sections of her bowels.
She also suffered vocal chord paralysis (from a stab to the neck), wounds to her arm and chest which have left caused mobility issues, and hernia repair. She says she is unable to work and relies on several medications.
In cross-examination, the defence asks what did she say to Thomas while they were in the kitchen.
“Thomas, it’s Lynnie, I love you,” she responded.
The defence asks if she was trying to snap him “out of the state” he was in.
“I don’t know what state he was in. I just wanted to get him away from Andrew,” she responded.
Witteveen said she Thomas was “always respectful,” noting in recent months she had taken him shopping to get him prepared for post-secondary school.
She completed her testimony by stating she “loved him like a son.”
More to come.
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