Edmonton man admits to gruesome killing, says he’s not criminally responsible

WARNING: This story contains graphic and disturbed content.

Silva Koshwal has admitted to stabbing his ex-girlfriend 101 times and mutilating her body. Now, a judge must decide whether he was criminally responsible.

The Edmonton man was convicted Monday of the second-degree murder of 38-year-old Nadine Skow on Aug. 24, 2015, and of offering an indignity to her body.

The agreed statement of facts read at Koshwal’s trial Monday said the pair had dated for three years but were no longer together. Early one morning, Koshwal came to Skow’s building and walked into her suite.

He stabbed her to death, leaving a scene that senior homicide investigator Bill Clark described at the time as one of the most horrific of his long career.

Koshwal kept stabbing her — even after she died — using multiple knives from her kitchen, the statement said.

Several tenants in the building at 104 Street and 106 Avenue heard a woman screaming. One said she yelled, “‘He’s going to kill me. Help me. He’s going to kill me.’ Three times.”
Nobody called police.

After Skow did not respond to texts and missed an important meeting at work, colleagues went to check on her.

Her body had been mutilated and some of her organs removed. Letters had been written in blood on the suite’s walls.

A little more than a day later, Koshwal walked into the downtown police station and told an officer, “I killed my wife.”

Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Sterling Sanderman said there is more than enough evidence to convict Koshwal, 42, on both charges.

Koshwal’s lawyer, Peter Royal, then began to argue his client was not criminally responsible for his actions.

For such a ruling, Koshwal must prove that he suffered from a mental disorder at the time of the killing which rendered him incapable of knowing what he did was wrong.

Psychologist Leslie Block examined Koshwal at the request of the defence. He determined Koshwal’s mental conditions have rendered him incapable of appreciating his actions. He shows signs of paranoia and delusions.

Block testified Koshwal’s past in South Sudan contributes to his mental illness. He witnessed militias raid his community. They killed people in what has been described as a genocide.

“He no longer is connected with reality. Now he’s living in the world of the past. This is the most extreme type of PTSD that you’d ever encounter.”

Block said Koshwal “comes across in a very deadened state,” he lacks empathy, he’s depressed and the PTSD is chronic and debilitating.

“This is a man who cannot sleep at night. He cannot sleep at night because he still sees the militia coming around his home and taking people and he can hear the screams still and he sees the next morning the destruction brought on by these militia and how the carnage has been ever-present.”

Block testified Koshwal struggles to understand Skow’s killing.

“He cannot piece together — later he thinks they (militias) had come and killed her. He could be lying to me but the sense that I got was that this was accurate.”

Koshwal’s trial is scheduled to last five days.

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