West Kelowna  

Hyatt murder trial begins

The Supreme Court trial into the murder of 16 year-old Ashlee Hyatt at a Peachland house party in 2010 got under way in Kelowna Friday morning.

The accused, who is 18 now, can't be identified because she was a minor at the time of the offence.

She is charged with 2nd degree murder, assault with a knife and assault causing bodily harm in connection with the case.

The proceedings began with the judge hearing the case providing a lengthy list of instructions for the jury. After opening statements from the Crown, RCMP Cst. Tyler Folz was called to testify.

Folz stated he was on general duty when he was informed by dispatch of a possible stabbing on San Clemente Avenue in Peachland at 9:35 p.m., June 2, 2010.

He says when he arrived near the scene he saw a male youth frantically pointing down the street to where the incident occurred.

Folz adds that he saw a female youth on her back with two people attending her.

After exiting his vehicle he began speaking to a number of witnesses who were on the scene. 

Folz testified that he talked to witness and asked if he knew where the weapon used in the incident was, at which point the witness gave him a knife that he claimed had been used during the event.

"A black folding knife with black handle. It was closed when I received it from him. I noticed a red residue," says Folz.

The officer also stated he had to determine the scene was safe for paramedics to attend to the injured female. When a violent crime has occurred, officers are required to make a threat assessment for further violence before paramedics can be brought in.

Folz called the paramedics in and then went to the injured person.

"She was in rough shape...her eyes partially rolled back and I couldn't tell if she was breathing," says Folz.

"The female on the ground was loaded into the ambulance and sent to KGH at 9:50 p.m."

After the paramedics left, Folz turned his attention to those around him, including two teenage males that were standing next to him.

One of those teenagers was Mike Baxter (died in a vehicle crash in Peachland).

"He was very quiet and calm, almost in shock. He appeared completely sober to me."

As other officers arrived, they continued to gather more evidence. Two separate blood stains, one on the roadway and another on the gravel shoulder near the house were swabbed and Folz also discovered a piece of blonde hair and a small silver earring near the stain on the road.

Folz, who would become the Exhibit Officer for the case, also seized a small black Henkle cutting knife from the kitchen of the home.

They also found a boot with "red residue" on it from the the front lawn of the house across the street. Another officer would later discover the matching boot to the pair.

After the session ended Ashlee Hyatt's father Greg tried to express his feelings now that the trial was underway.

"Its been a long time coming. I don't feel really good sitting in there reliving the past. We're just trying to get over the loss of Ashlee and then it all gets drummed up again," says Hyatt.

"We hope to see Ashlee get some justice and the person that's responsible for her death be punished accordingly."

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