Kelowna man pleads guilty to stabbing much younger girlfriend 35 times

Kelowna man pleads guilty to stabbing much younger girlfriend 35 times

The trial for the man charged in the 2013 killing of Theresa Neville ended abruptly today.

A relationship that Theresa Neville struck up with a man who was three times her age when they met turned out to be deadly, a courtroom packed with her family learned Monday.

Jay Thomson, who was born in 1956, entered a surprise guilty plea to second degree murder on what was supposed to be the first day of a multi-week trial.

In the hour that followed his plea, the court heard some unusual details about the relationship he had with the woman he fatally stabbed 35 times June 17, 2013 while she sat on the living room couch of the Yates Road home they had shared for a year.

The 88-pound, 27 year old woman died from injuries to her head, face, back and hands, Crown counsel Mark Levitz told the court, while reading from a statement agreed to by defence lawyer Grant Gray.

Given the nature of these injuries, said Levitz, it’s clear she was killed in anger, while her two young children were downstairs.

Levitz said that Thomson was the father of these children.

Thomson had told RCMP that he met Neville at a Kelowna beach, around 2001, when she was 15 years old. At that time, he was 45-years-old and married to another woman who he remained with until a year before he killed Neville.

Neville had been crying that day on the beach, said Levitz, summarizing the statement from Thomson. The two spoke for awhile and then Thomson offered up his number, asking that Neville call him if she needed to talk. She did a few days later and the two struck up a friendship.

In the meetings that followed Thomson said that he helped her find God, and tried to break it off with her once that happened.

At that time, Neville wanted him to stay with her. To do so, he said, she asked him to teach her how to drive. He agreed and at some point after that she told him that she was in love.

“Then he said they should ‘cool it,’ but he realized he loved her, too,” said Levitz, adding that’s when the romantic relationship got underway.

She was then 16 years old.

He started to fold Neville into his family life, even bringing her on a family ski trip organized by his church.

In 2002 she would go to his family home for dinner.

“He said she needed friends,” said Levitz. “They later found out later she was pregnant…Then they brought her into the home … (and) into the family.”

Life in the intervening years wasn’t explained, however Levitz said that in the weeks and months preceding her murder, Thomson started showing jealous and possessive behaviour.

“He believed she was cheating on him with a colleague from work … with someone Neville had never met in person nor was she planning to,” said Levitz, noting that Neville worked from home in a job she was able to do online.

“He searched his computer for spying equipment and had come across correspondences with coworkers, including supposed boyfriend.”

In the investigation that followed, Levitz said that letters that Neville had written were found detailing what she was going through.

“They say the accused was mad at her for managing her email, she was afraid to check email because (she) didn’t know how he would respond, and she gave him access because she didn’t do anything wrong,” he said. “The accused looked at email and had been freaking out ever since.”

Neville wrote about how she was frustrated that Thomson didn’t trust her and that he made false allegations. He didn’t like that she had a job.

This jealousy issue was reiterated by Thomson in the years following Neville’s murder.

He told his former wife that Neville was cheating on him or was going to cheat on him with some other guy.

“‘You don’t know what I went through, it wasn’t fun,’” he’d said to her, Levitz told the court.

Thomson told her that the house they shared was messy, and when he tried to clean it up and she would yell at him.

Neville was also allegedly opening a lot of credit cards and spending freely.

Until recently, he’d never told people that he killed Neville. Only that he’d gone to get donuts, as per a request she’d made, and when he returned he found her dead.

He concocted a story for police in the immediate aftermath that he saw “a native male or a big Indian” running from the backyard of the home when he came back with the donuts. He claimed he ran in to check on the children, who were fine, then he went upstairs and found Neville lying on the floor.

RCMP composed a sketch at that time and distributed it to the media. A year later the sketch was withdrawn with no explanation.

“For the past five-and-a-half years, he not only deceived police but also family and other people,” said Levitz. “For the five-and-a-half years since Neville was murdered he maintained alibi that he was away from house when she was murdered.”

Thomson returns to court Jan. 24 for sentencing.

—-

Original:

The trial for the man charged in the 2013 killing of Kelowna resident Theresa Neville is scheduled to get underway today.

Jay Sinclair Thomson, 61, was arrested in November of 2017, following what appeared to be a four-year-lull in the investigation.

READ ALSO: TRIAL SCHEDULED FOR ACCUSED KILLER

Police arrived to the 300 block of Yates Road home June 18, 2013 at 12:37 a.m., and discovered the body of Neville, a 27-year-old mother of two.

Her children were found unharmed, and also inside the home. They were relocated with their extended family.

He was released on bail earlier this year, but was taken back into custody after an Oct. 5 incident that led to a charge of attempting to pervert, defeat, or obstruct justice.

A new bail hearing for Thomson was held Nov. 20 and a judge released Thomson on a new set of conditions. The reason for the decision is covered under a publication ban.

To report a typo, email:
newstips@kelownacapnews.com
.


@KelownaNewsKat
kmichaels@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

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

Just Posted

Workers at Kitimat General Hospital were presented with a large variety of food packages in appreciation of the last year of dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. The donations came via local Epicurean representative Kerri Weightman who collected money for the purchases. (Jacob Lubberts photo)
Hospital workers receive food donation

Workers at Kitimat General Hospital were presented with a large variety of… Continue reading

(Phil McLachlan/Capital News)
Murder charge laid in February 2020 stabbing death of Smithers man

Michael Egenolf is charged with the second-degree murder of Brodie Cumiskey

Island Health chief medical officer Dr. Richard Stanwick receives a first dose of Pfizer vaccine, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
COVID-19: B.C. seniors aged 90+ can start to sign up for vaccination on March 8

Long-term care residents protected by shots already given

A health care worker prepares to test a Coastal GasLink field worker for COVID-19. (Coastal GasLink photo)
Coastal GasLink begins COVID screening of pipeline workers

Construction is once again ramping up following Northern Health approval of COVID management plan

Design work continues for planned new hospital

Construction contract still in the works

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry head for the B.C. legislature press theatre to give a daily update on the COVID-19 pandemic, April 6, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. nears 300,000 COVID-19 vaccinations, essential workers next

564 new cases, four deaths, no new outbreaks Thursday

Shiromali Krishnaraj arrives from India and receives a mandatory COVID-19 test at Pearson International Airport during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto on Monday, Feb. 1, 2021. B.C.’s approved rapid tests also use a nasal swab, with a machine to scan for COVID-19 antibodies. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
B.C.’s rapid COVID-19 tests have produced only two positive results

Tests deployed for exposures in schools, outbreaks in care homes, jails

BC Emergency Health Services confirmed that a call was received just before 10 a.m. Ground paramedics, as well as an air ambulance, are on the way to the area. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
BREAKING: Helicopter goes down on Bowen Island

Unclear how many passengers aboard and unclear where the helicopter was going

The Nanaimo bar display at the Nanaimo Museum. (City of Nanaimo Instagram)
City of Nanaimo points to correct recipe after New York Times botches batch of bars

City addresses ‘controversy’ around dessert square’s layers

A man holds a picture of Chantel Moore during a healing gathering at the B.C. Legislature in Victoria on June 18, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. First Nation demands transparency in probe into second fatal RCMP shooting

‘Police have killed more Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation members than COVID’

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C. on the COVID-19 situation. (B.C. government)
Dr. Bonnie Henry predicts a ‘post-pandemic world’ for B.C. this summer

‘Extending this second dose provides very high real-world protection to more people, sooner’

The B.C. Supreme Court ruled Feb. 26 that the estate of deceased Sooke man and Hells Angels prospect Michael Widner is to be divided between his wife and his secret spouse. (Black Press Media file photo)
Estate of dead B.C. Hells Angels prospect to be divided between wife, secret spouse

Michael Widner’s 2017 death left a number of unanswered questions

This Dec. 2, 2020 photo provided by Johnson & Johnson shows vials of its Janssen subsidiary’s COVID-19 vaccine in the United States. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Johnson & Johnson via AP
Canada approves Johnson & Johnson’s 1-shot COVID-19 vaccine

It is the 4th vaccine approved in Canada and the 1st that requires just a single dose

Walter Gretzky father of hockey hall-of-famer Wayne Gretzky waves to fans as the Buffalo Sabres play against the Toronto Maple Leafs during third period NHL hockey action in Toronto on Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Walter Gretzky, father of the Great One, dies at 82

Canada’s hockey dad had battled Parkinson’s disease and other health issues

Most Read