Residents in an Annex housing complex found Farshad Badakhshan sitting calmly in a chair in the communal kitchen, even though the lower half of his body was on fire, a Toronto jury heard today.
Badakhshan, 31, is accused of first-degree murder in the July 2010 death of Carina Petrache, a 23-year-old Ryerson criminology student. They both lived in a housing complex on Huron Street, and fellow tenant Volodymyr Selivanov took the witness stand today.
Selivanov, 42, said that Badakhshan – known to the residents as “Shawn” – made no attempts to save himself or Petrache, who lay on the floor next to him, from the flames burning their flesh.
“I tried to help him leave the building, he pushed me, said leave me alone,” the witness said. “He stood up and moaned, made noise, that’s it.”
Petrache saw her relationship with Badakhshan, who was 27 at the time, as a way to get over a former boyfriend, Selivanov said. He told the jury that in the weeks leading up to Petrache’s death, they had gotten into a couple of heated arguments.
One argument ended with Petrache physically bracing the door to her bedroom from the inside, blocking Badakhshan from entering. Badakhshan was holding a whiskey bottle, Selivanov said, adding that he saw signs of Badakhshan drinking more frequently leading up the fire on July 2.
The Crown contends that Badakhshan stabbed Petrache, slit her throat, and set her, himself, and their residence on fire. The defence contends that Badakhshan is not criminally responsible due to a mental disorder.
The trial continues.