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Man killed in Kelowna Canada Day 2018 was stomped and kicked before he was fatally stabbed in the heart

Stomped before fatal stab

As fireworks exploded above Okanagan Lake to celebrate Canada Day 2018, a group of young people stomped and kicked a man who lay on the grass outside Kelowna City Hall. During the swarming, the man was stabbed in the heart and later died.

The third day of Noah Vaten and Nathan Truant's manslaughter trial began Wednesday morning with testimony from Julian Schlegel, one of the two security guards who broke up the group attack on the evening of July 1, 2018 that left 23-year-old Esa Carriere dead.

Schlegel said he and his partner were standing near the roundabout at Water Street and the Queensway bus loop watching the fireworks at about 10:30 p.m., when he turned and saw the attack on the lawn just south of city hall.

“I saw a group of people beating on somebody that was on the ground,” Schlegel testified, adding he could hear yelling and screaming.

“It was mainly kicking and stomping. The person on the ground was just trying to fend for themselves, they were just getting pummelled pretty bad.”

He was unable to say exactly how many people were involved in the attack.

Schlegel and his partner ran over and the group scattered and fled the area. Schlegel's partner was able to grab one young woman who they saw kicking the victim and place her in handcuffs. Another young man who appeared to be with the woman stayed at the scene.

Schlegel described the young female as “extremely emotional and hysterical.”

He directed a bystander to call 911, when he noticed the victim was bleeding. Schlegel's partner began administering first aid to Carriere, before police and paramedics arrived and took over.

Carriere later died in hospital from a stab wound to the heart.

On Monday, Crown prosecutor Martin Nadon laid out the Crown's theory to the court, alleging Vaten was the one who inflicted the fatal stab wound during the group attack. Nadon said the altercation “may” have started after Carriere struck Vaten.

The RCMP's Cpl. Chris Arpink also testified Wednesday about arresting Vaten a couple hours later outside the RCMP's Rutland detachment. Arpink testified he was in the back parking lot of the detachment with two other officers at about 1:30 a.m., catching up on paperwork after a busy Canada Day evening. After hearing some “drunken hootin' and hollerin'”on the other side of the building, Arpink walked over to investigate.

“As I got closer I could start hearing something to the effect of 'fuck the police' was being shouted,” Arpink said. “I heard a noise that to me sounded like somebody kicking the glass front door of the police station.”

Arpink found a man at the front of the detachment and put him in handcuffs. During the arrest, a black fold-out knife fell to the ground. Arpink found a bong, cannabis grinder and metal cannabis pipe in the man's backpack.

While Arpink didn't identify the man himself, he overheard another officer refer to him as “Noah.”

On Monday, Crown prosecutor Nadon said at this time, police had not yet connected Noah Vaten to the earlier killing downtown. After spending a night in the downtown Kelowna “drunk tank,” Vaten was released from custody.

Arpink said he was then contacted by an officer with the RCMP Serious Crimes division about his arrest of Vaten a few days later. In his statement, Arpink described the Vaten as a “drunk idiot.”

“In 12 years of doing this job, I've encountered one individual that was drunk and kicked the front door of a police station, so I don't really know how else to describe it,” Arpink told the court in cross-examination.

Truat and Vaten's trial is expected to continue for several weeks. They both remain out of custody on bail.

Two other people were charged with manslaughter in Carriere's death, but because they were both 17 at the time of the killing, their identities are protected. One has pleaded guilty, while the other is set to begin trial in Youth Court at the end of March.



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