Witnesses of fatal 2018 attack in Kelowna testified Friday

Fatal attack 'made me sick'

Witness testimony Friday afternoon shed some more light on what may have started an altercation on the evening of Canada Day 2018 in downtown Kelowna that left a 23-year-old man dead.

The manslaughter trial for Nathan Truant, 28, and Noah Vaten, 22, began Monday, with Crown prosecutor Martin Nadon alleging Vaten delivered the fatal stab wound to Esa Carriere near the Queensway bus station while several others punched and kicked him.

Friday afternoon, two young women who witnessed the attack testified they heard a woman's voice yell “he just punched me in the face,” just prior to seeing a group of about four people chase a man across the lawn, just south of Kelowna City Hall.

Alex Wilk, who was 18 at the time, was standing with a friend just south of the entrance to Kasugai Gardens during the Canada Day fireworks downtown.

After hearing the woman's voice and seeing the group chase after the man, she testified that she saw the man trip near the edge of the grass area, and the group of people began kicking and punching him. She said the attack lasted for about 30 seconds and the man on the ground didn't appear to fight back in any way.

“Everyone who was chasing him was punching or kicking him to an extent. There was one that was more aggressive, quite a bit more aggressive with kicks and punches,” Wilk testified.

“I turned away for a few seconds and kind of looked at the ground, because it kind of made me sick to my stomach.”

The Crown alleges Truant and Vaten were two of the people who attacked Carriere, and while the others were kicking Carriere, Vaten stabbed him in the chest with a knife.

Another woman who was 17 at the time of the attack and can't be identified also testified Friday, corroborating much of Wilks' testimony.

At one point during the attack, the young woman yelled at the group, “get off of him,” to no avail.

“It was scary for me, I don't do well with violence like that,” she said.

During the attack, she said two other females who appeared to know the members of the attacking group approached the altercation and yelled: “what's going on?”

“I heard a male voice respond, 'he punched her,'” Wilk testified.

She said while the others kicked Carriere, one person kneeled on top of him and appeared to punch him repeatedly.

Both women said the attackers eventually dispersed in different directions, before police arrived on scene.

Vaten was later arrested, after he was found by an officer kicking the front door of the Rutland RCMP detachment while yelling “f*** the police.” He was kept in the "drunk tank" overnight, and despite having a fold-out knife on him and blood on his hands, he was released the next morning.

Thursday, Vaten's cellmate that night testified about how Vaten told him he had stabbed a man.

Two other people who were 17 at the time and can't be identified were also charged with manslaughter in Carriere's deaths. One has since pleaded guilty while the other is set to begin trial at the end of March.

More Kelowna News