A botched robbery led to a confrontation during which a man was stabbed to death in his own home, a jury has heard.
Mohammad Khan admits he repeatedly stabbed and bludgeoned Ahmed Buttu, but insisted he did so in self-defence when an angry Buttu pulled a handgun after finding Khan in his home on the night of Feb. 27, 2019.
“I didn’t intend to hurt or kill anybody,” Khan testified Wednesday, June 15 at the Oshawa courthouse. “I just wanted to get out of there.”
Khan has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder in the death of Buttu, 21. Court has heard Buttu sustained more than 20 stab wounds as well as multiple blunt force injuries, and that his blood was found spattered in rooms on the main and second floors of the house.
Khan was 18 at the time of the incident. Taking the witness stood Wednesday, June 15, he said he had gone to Buttu’s home on a number of occasions to buy marijuana in the weeks leading up to the killing. He said that in early 2019 he was descending into a spiral of problematic drug and alcohol use.
“I had spent all my savings on drugs and alcohol (and) activities that went with it,” he said. “I had made a plan to go and steal drugs when (Buttu) wasn’t there.”
Khan’s plan included affixing a GPS tracking device to a car he assumed was driven by Buttu. On the night of the killing, he activated the device and was tracking it on his phone when he saw the car had left the neighborhood; he decided at that moment to put his plan into action, court heard.
“It was just when the opportunity arose,” Khan said of his planning. “I wasn’t expecting it on that date.”
Khan broke into the house by forcing patio doors and scooped drugs he found on a table inside into his backpack, court heard. He said he made his way to an upstairs computer room and was in the process of stealing more drugs when Buttu entered the room.
Khan said he tried to apologize and leave, but an enraged Buttu threatened to kill him. Khan said he pulled his BB gun and fired twice at Buttu.
“It pissed him off,” Khan said. “He lunged toward his computer table, saying, ‘You’re f—ing dead.'”
Court heard Khan bashed Buttu over the head with the gun, breaking it, and wrestled away a knife Buttu brandished, cutting his hand in the process. He said he fled downstairs in an attempt to get out of the house, but was prevented from doing so by Buttu.
A protracted struggle occurred by the front door, during which Khan said Buttu pushed the handgun into his face.
“I freaked out,” he tested. “I just started stabbing and stabbing. I just wanted him to let me go.”
Khan eventually fled the house and went to his car, but realized he’d left his backpack in the house and went back, court heard. As Khan was coming down the stairs from the computer room, Buttu’s house mates — who were driving the car with the GPS device on it — returned to find Buttu lying on the floor in a pool of blood.
Khan fled but was tackled nearby by a resident who suspected he was breaking into cars. Durham police arrived and took Khan into custody, court has heard.
During his testimony, Khan insisted he wanted the drugs solely for his personal use and that he wanted to go undetected during the theft.
Khan will be cross-examined by the Crown Thursday.