Accused killer claimed to not remember night of killing after using cocaine

No memory after cocaine

The man accused of fatally stabbing a 23-year-old man in downtown Kelowna during the 2018 Canada Day celebrations told police he remembers doing cocaine on the night in question, but he remembers little else.

Esa Carriere was stabbed in the chest on the evening of July 1, 2018 near the Queensway bus loop. He died in hospital a short time later. The following January, Noah Vaten, Nathan Truant and two others who were 17 years old at the time and can't be identified were all arrested and charged with the manslaughter of Carriere.

During the ninth day of Vaten and Truant's trial Friday, video from one of Vaten's interrogation sessions was played in court. Vaten, now 22 years old, was arrested on Jan. 25, 2019 at his mother's house in Winnipegosis, Manitoba, and he was interrogated at the Dauphin, Manitoba RCMP detachment later that evening.

During his arrest, and later while he was interrogated by Const. Tiffany Isenor, Vaten maintained he had no recollection of the night in question.

“Do you guys even have proof I did it, I've been asking for proof I did it because I don't even know,” Vaten said during the Jan. 25 interrogation. “Can you please understand how frustrating that is sitting here not even knowing if I did what I'm being arrested for, or shown proof that I did what I'm being arrested for.

“I don't even know what this guy looks like, I've never heard his name in my life.”

During his initial arrest, and subsequent interrogation, Vaten refused to speak to a lawyer. During the interrogation, Const. Isenor tells Vaten that it's the first time she's seen a person accused of a serious crime refuse to talk to a lawyer. She also tells him he's not required to answer any of her questions.

The admissibility of Vaten's statements to police are being challenged by his defence counsel Glenn Verdumen, on the basis that the statements weren't “voluntary,” and that it breached Vaten's Section 10 Charter rights which guarantees an accused access to a lawyer and to be informed of that right.

But during the interrogation, Vaten maintains that he doesn't need a lawyer.

“If I did do it, sure I'll willingly go to jail. I don't think anyone should get away with murder if they did murder somebody. I think that's completely wrong,” Vaten said. “I don't even think you have proof that I did anything, I think that this is all just bullsh*t and I'm just a fall boy for whoever actually did do it.”

Vaten told Const. Isenor that he had done cocaine on the night in question, and it was only the second time he'd ever done it in his life. He said the first time he did it, he ended up in the hospital.

“I remember doing lines of cocaine in Ben Lee skatepark, in Kelowna, in Rutland, and apparently this all happened in downtown, and I don't even remember being downtown,” Vaten said. “Why would I go downtown other than to maybe see the fireworks, but if I went to see the fireworks why would I kill someone instead of seeing the fireworks? I don't even fist fight, I'm not even a fighter, this makes no sense to me.”

He goes on to say that he remembers while he was doing cocaine with a group at one point in the night, an RCMP officer approached them. To get rid of the drugs, he said he did the rest of it, which was more than he initially intended. He said that he had never blacked out from drinking prior to the night of July 1, 2018, but he remembers next to nothing after consuming the cocaine.

Vaten told Const. Isenor that the next morning he woke up and went to Ben Lee Park to find his friends and ask them what had happened the night before.

He said he continued to use cocaine every day for about a month after, before quitting drugs and alcohol and hitchhiking to Toronto. He said prior to leaving Kelowna, he had spent six months drinking every day, and his memory of that time is a “blur.”

Vaten also spoke about his childhood, and how he was largely homeless between the ages of 11 and 20.

“I don't think about my past at all, I know it's been f***ed up and I know life's been really unfair to me growing up, I had it really unfair, but I also know that moaning about it isn't going to do much,” Vaten said. “You've just got to stick to the future and take it one day at a time.”

The trial will continue next week.

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