Friends, relatives testify in Hyatt trial

A former soccer coach of the teen accused of stabbing to death Ashlee Hyatt said the girl was a leader on the team, someone other players looked up to.

The coach was one of several character witnesses who testified in the ongoing Kelowna trial Wednesday. The accused is facing a second degree murder charge in the death of Hyatt, then 16, at a Peachland house party on June 2, 2010.

The coach, who worked with the accused when she was 13 and living in Langley, said her demeanour on the field was like any other player and she used her talent well. Off the field she was respectful and thoughtful, bringing cookies for some of the players.

The manager of the soccer team described the accused as one of her favourite players.

She was the one who would arrive at soccer smiling and happy with hugs for all the girls, she said.

She never acted out with anyone, there was no aggressiveness and when the game was done it was done, she explained.

Neighbors of the family, when the accused lived in Langley, described the teen as happy go lucky, bubbly, fun and silly.

"There was something special about her, how all the kids looked up to her," said one.

They denied ever seeing her use alcohol.

A relative, who worked for a time in the fishing industry, said the accused worked for a while as a deckhand on a fishing boat.

She was so good that recently guys on the boats were asking where she was and suggesting she threw fish better than him.

Dr. Dean Hildebrand, a DNA forensic expert in the science of bodily fluids, testified early in the day that blood found on the upper crevice of the blade of the knife taken from the crime scene matched Hyatt's DNA.

There was a clear major contributor as well as another contributor, he said.

When the defence asked if DNA from the teen host of the party, who has been linked to the fight, could be found, the witness said she was excluded from the sample.

Blood on the tip of the blade belonged to Hyatt, and the host of the party was excluded from that sample as well, he said.

Bodily matter that did not include blood on the handle of the knife could be from many many people and did not exclude or include the party host, he told the defence.

The trial is expected to continue on Thursday.

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