An Afghanistan veteran on trial for allegedly stabbing his neighbors after a long-running park dispute said he didn’t remember doing it.
Collin Reeves, 35, is alleged to have murdered Jennifer and Stephen Chapple at their home in Norton Fitwarren outside Taunton in Somerset on November 21 last year.
There had been several altercations between the family and Reeves over a parking dispute that began six months earlier.
Things came to a head when Reeves climbed over the fence between the neighbors’ gardens and snuck into the Chapples’ home through the back door.
He then stabbed both parents in their living room while their two young sons slept upstairs.
After the horrific attack, Reeves climbed over the fence again, called the police, and told the operator, “I went around with a knife, I stabbed them both.”
Still, Reeves told Bristol Crown Court on Monday he didn’t remember many details from that night.
However, he recalls sitting on the stairs in tears because his wife asked for a separation – just 40 minutes before the violence.
His defense attorney asked, “Do you remember what you were thinking as you sat on the stairs?”
And Reeves replied: ‘Just the fear of losing everything, I just felt like ‘we’re breaking up’, that was it, (my wife) talked about staying with my parents.’
The next thing Reeves remembers was a bright light coming on trying to get to his front.
Reeves, who previously told the court about his fear of CCTV cameras and surveillance, said: “I felt like I had been seen or compromised, white light was a trigger when I was a soldier, if a light comes on or someone when a torch goes down, when that white light comes up, something is going to happen.
“I remember the[Chapple’s]back door handle, the handle that came down. I felt it was me or her. I know it was wrong, I should never have been there.”
Reeves insists he doesn’t recall ever picking up his weapon – the ceremonial dagger he was given when he left the army.
He recalls hearing his wife scream as he returned to his own home.
At the police station, he told officers he was “Lance Corporal Reeves, sir,” and gave his military service number.
He also said, “I was just doing my job” and “I had surgery.”
When Reeves was questioned by prosecutors, he admitted he must have had a memory of the event when he called 911.
Reeves also spoke about growing up in a home where domestic violence existed. He told the court he tends to suppress his feelings.
During his testimony, Reeves opened up about a culture of domestic abuse in his home growing up and his own tendency to suppress his emotions.
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He said: “I am ashamed and disgusted with myself for what I have done, that I have taken the lives of Stephen and Jennifer while their children were in bed and have caused pain and suffering to their families and friends because i knew her two boys were in bed when it happened is why they can never see their mother and father again because of me.
“I’ve always been ashamed to talk to anyone about my feelings or thoughts because I always thought it was a sign of weakness, but now I’m even more ashamed that I didn’t talk about what I did or sought help.”
Reeves accepts stabbing Mr. and Mrs. Chapple, but denies murder and has pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of manslaughter due to diminished responsibility.
The trial, which is expected to take eight days, continues.
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https://metro.co.uk/2022/06/13/ex-soldier-who-killed-neighbours-says-he-does-not-remember-the-attack-16821988/ Ex-soldier who killed neighbors says he doesn't remember attack