ST. JOHN’S, N.L. – A sobbing Warren White told police he strangled his girlfriend last year after consuming a large quantity of drugs, dismembered her body days later and contemplated suicide because of the shame he felt over what he had done, a Newfoundland court heard Tuesday.
The sentencing hearing for White began an a chilling note as Crown lawyers played a videotaped confession in which the 36-year-old admits he choked Amanda Power to death, then “chopped her up” because she was too heavy for him to remove from their apartment.
White, who pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and interfering with a dead body, spoke with the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary a couple of hours after children found Power’s torso in a suitcase in the backyard of his apartment on June 6, 2008.
Within minutes he confesses, in between bouts of sobbing, that he killed Power on May 30, 2008, after suspecting her of being unfaithful.
“I killed the person I loved with all my heart. I kept on forgiving her and forgiving her and forgiving her for lying to me and cheating on me,” he told Sgt. Patrick Roche of the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary.
White said he had consumed a large quantity of Clonazepam, a drug used to decrease seizures or anxiety, earlier in the day before he confronted her about his suspicions.
He said he “blacked out” while strangling the 29-year-old woman and, when he came to, tried to revive her but failed.
“I woke up the next morning. I was lying next to her. She was dead cold,” he said.
After a few days, he dragged her body to the bathtub and dismembered it using a hacksaw and knife.
“I cut her up like a piece of meat,” he said.
He said he put Power’s lower torso in a suitcase, her upper torso in a hockey bag and placed her head in grocery bags and stored it in his freezer.
Her limbs were put into two backpacks and thrown into a nearby river. They’ve never been recovered.
“I’m so ashamed of myself … I freaked out. I didn’t know what to do,” White said.
“I had plans on keeping, keeping this quiet until the 16th of this month so I could get my welfare cheque and go buy $500 worth of cocaine and kill myself. But obviously I should have killed myself sooner.”
White sat with his head hung low in the prisoner’s box while audio and videotapes of his confession were played in provincial Supreme Court.
Power’s family choked back tears during the hearing.
At one point on the videotape, White takes officers to the spot along the river where he says he threw the two backpacks containing Power’s limbs.
Minutes later he takes them to a grassy area where they find the hockey bag containing her upper torso.
Photographs of the crime scene in White’s apartment, as well as areas throughout the leafy St. John’s neighbourhood where Power’s remains were found, were entered as evidence.
Const. Greg Stanley, the lead forensic investigator for the case, testified that Power’s flesh and blood were found on a hacksaw, a kitchen knife and inside a garbage bag, among other items.
Investigators used Leucomalachite, a green chemical agent that detects the presence of blood even after it’s been washed away, throughout White’s home, Stanley told the court.
Photographs showed White’s bathtub caked with Leucomalachite.
White’s sentencing before Justice James Adams is scheduled to last until Friday.