During the manslaughter sentencing arguments for the man responsible for the daytime home invasion and slaying of an elderly couple, the Crown said it would have been a double murder if the killer had not been on drugs.

On Sept. 2, 2018, Kyle Edward Roberts broke into the home of Joao and Maria Nascimento armed himself with a kitchen knife stolen from a house nearby, and repeatedly stabbed the couple as they fought to defend themselves.

Crown Prosecutor Anders Quist said Roberts later said he believed he needed to “clear the house by killing occupants so that he could become the king.” He also said Roberts was in a “substance induced psychosis” but that “appeared to be aware that he was killing real people.”

The 30-year-old admitted to investigators that he used crystal methamphetamine before killing the 93-year-old man and 81-year-old woman.

Roberts pleaded guilty to two counts of manslaughter. In asking for a 20-year sentence, the Crown said his acts should be classified as “near murder.”

“He knew what he did was murder and he meant to do it,” Quist said. “The problem was that he was in this delusional state.”

Court also heard that Edwards served approximately four months for beating his sister with a baseball bat in 2015 and that he attempted to attack his father with scissors. His father, Ed Roberts, spoke to CTV News after the double slaying, saying his son’s behaviour in the year prior had become unrecognizable due to drug use.

“He tried to stab me with scissors one night and it wasn't him, it was some demon in him,” Roberts said.

Tony Abrantes, the Nascimento’s godson, read out his victim impact statement at the start of the sentencing hearing, saying, in part:

“John and Marie have etched themselves in my heart forever, and I will try to forget that day in September. Not because I want to forgive and forget but because they deserve better.”

The defence has asked for a 14-year sentence. The sentence will come down Thursday.

With files from CTV Edmonton’s David Ewasuk