Man from Cowichan Valley claims he killed two men on the Island two decades ago. (File photo)

Man from Cowichan Valley claims he killed two men on the Island two decades ago. (File photo)

Witness in Victoria court case admits to previous killings

The man was a paid agent of the RCMP, who say they had no evidence to back up the confessions

A man from the Cowichan Valley has admitted to killing two men many years ago on Vancouver Island.

But the RCMP say the claims have not been substantiated.

During an ongoing drug trafficking trial in Victoria, a man who was paid to assist the police in the case, Matthew Holland, admitted to killing two people on the Island who were unrelated to the case, in separate incidents about 20 years ago.

Holland has a criminal record for numerous offences, including manslaughter, but has never been charged with the deaths of the two people he testified on Oct. 17 that he killed.

Holland was paid more than $130,000 by the RCMP to help nab an alleged cocaine dealer, Douglas Lawrence Ketch, before he testified in the case.

During his testimony, Holland said the first man he was referring to picked him up about 20 years ago when Holland was hitchhiking on the Malahat.

He said he believed the man who picked him up put his life in danger, although the court transcripts don’t say why he believed this.

“I beat the s*** out of him, man,” Holland said when questioned about the incident, according to the transcripts.

“I stomped on him, dragged him out of his car. I dealt with it like it should have been. You know, my life was in danger.”

Holland said the second incident occurred around the same time in a bar in Courtney.

He said he attacked a man who was beating up his girlfriend.

“I was, you know, just sticking up for her,” Holland said.

“I might have gone a little too far.”

Cpl. Janelle Shoihet, from the RCMP’s E division, said the court case is still ongoing, so police are limited as to what information can be shared at this time.

But she said police are aware that Holland testified to committing severe assaults on two individuals approximately 20 years ago, but do not know whether or not he killed the individuals in question.

“Mr. Holland had already disclosed to police the same allegations he made on Oct. 17,” Shoihet said.

“I can confirm that those allegations were investigated, and that police were unable to find any corroborating evidence. From the perspective of police, Mr. Holland’s testimony on Oct. 17 was consistent with what RCMP knew, and had previously investigated.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Yunesit'in Government in partnership with the BC Wildfire Service will be conducting a prescribed burn seven kilometres west of the community and 25 kilometres south of Alexis Creek on the south side of the Chilcotin River. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Prescribed burning planned to reduce wildfire risk near Yunesit’in

Burning may begin as early as April 13 in partnership with BC Wildfire Service

An aerial view of the Williams Lake Stockyards taken during a flyover in 2020. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Williams Lake Bull Show and Sale in its 84th year

This year’s sale will be online and in person

B.C. Cattlemen’s Association general manager Kevin Boon. (B.C. Cattlemen’s Association photo)
COVID, BSE, water access and private land rights: B.C. Cattlemen’s general manager weighs in

Kevin Boon said positive aspect of pandemic is more people interested in where their food comes from

Cariboo Chilcotin Conservation Society communications officer Brianna van de Wijngaard reflects on World Water Day March 22. (Photo submitted)
DOWN TO EARTH: World Water Day means something different for everyone

This year’s World Water Day theme was Valuing Water

Williams Lake Cycling Club president Shawn Lewis (from left), Jeremy Stoward of New Path Forestry, WLCC Boitanio Bike Park director Andrew Hutchinson accept a cheque from Williams Lake and District Credit Union investment specialist Abigail King. (Photo submitted)
Williams Lake Cycling Club gets bike park donation to bolster upgrades, maintenance

Plans are to complete three rideable lines each year, he added

Burnaby MLA Raj Chouhan presides as Speaker of the B.C. legislature, which opened it spring session April 12 with a speech from the throne. THE CANADIAN PRESS
B.C. NDP promises more health care spending, business support in 2021 budget

John Horgan government to ‘carefully return to balanced budgets’

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A lady wears a sticker given out after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine at a clinic in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count slows after last week’s peak

3,219 new cases since Friday, 18 additional deaths

North Cowichan councillor Tek Manhas did not violate the municipality’s code of conduct by posting a sexist meme on Facebook, council concludes. (File photo)
B.C. municipality to take no action against councillor who posted sexist meme

Tek Manhas’s meme doesn’t violate North Cowichan council’s code of conduct, municipality concludes

—Image: contributed
Indoor wine tastings still allowed in B.C., not considered a ‘social gathering’

“Tasting is really just part of the retail experience. The analogy I use is you wouldn’t buy a pair of pants without trying them on.”

A sign on a shop window indicates the store is closed in Ottawa, Monday March 23, 2020. The Canadian Federation of Independent Business is raising its estimate for the number of businesses that are considering the possibility of closing permanently. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Small business struggling amid COVID-19 pandemic looks for aid in Liberals’ budget

President Dan Kelly said it is crucial to maintain programs to help businesses to the other side of the pandemic

The National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians says that includes attempts to steal Canadian research on COVID-19 and vaccines, and sow misinformation. (AP Photo/Esteban Felix)
Intelligence committee warns China, Russia targeting Canadian COVID-19 research

Committee also found that the terrorist threat to Canada has shifted since its last such assessment

Part of the massive mess left behind in a Spallumcheen rental home owned by Wes Burden, whose tenants bolted from the property in the middle of the night. Burden is now facing a hefty cleaning and repair bill as a result. (Photo submitted)
Tenants disappear in the night leaving Okanagan home trashed with junk, feces

Spallumcheen rental rooms filled with junk, human and animal feces; landlord scared to rent again

Parliament Hill is viewed below a Canada flag in Gatineau, Quebec, Friday, Sept. 18, 2020. A new poll suggests most Canadians are feeling more grateful for what they have in 2020 as a result of COVID-19 pandemic.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions increased slightly in 2019: report

2019 report shows Canada emitted about one million tonnes more of these gases than the previous year

Most Read