Trial for Canada Day killing delayed after going longer than scheduled

Fatal stabbing trial delayed

The trial for the two men accused of killing a 23-year-old man in downtown Kelowna during the 2018 Canada Day celebrations has gone longer than expected, and won't continue for at least several weeks.

The trial for 28-year-old Nathan Truant and 22-year-old Noah Vaten began on Feb. 22. The two men are accused of taking part in a group attack on Esa Carriere near the Queensway bus loop on the evening of July 1, 2018. The Crown says Vaten inflicted a fatal stab wound into Carriere's chest during the attack, and Carriere later died in hospital.

Early in the trial, the Crown showed surveillance footage from the Queensway bus loop on the night of the killing, although the footage of the actual attack does not clearly show the people involved. Several witnesses of the attack also testified, although no one was able to clearly identify Vaten or Truant as the attackers.

The court also heard testimony from a man who shared a cell in the downtown Kelowna "drunk tank" with Vaten in the early morning hours after the attack on Carriere. He told the court that an extremely intoxicated Vaten almost immediately began to tell him about how he had stabbed a man that evening.

Vaten and Truant were arrested more than six months after the attack. Vaten was found at his mother's house in Winnipegosis, Manitoba.

Upon his arrest and later during interrogation, he said he had no knowledge of the night Carriere died, claiming he had blacked out due to alcohol and cocaine use. But later in the interrogation, he confessed to killing Carriere.

But Vaten's lawyer Glenn Verdumen is challenging the admissibility of Vaten's statements to police, on the grounds that they weren't voluntary, and breached his Section 10 Charter right to a lawyer.

The trial was scheduled to last three weeks, with a planned completion date on Friday, but that hasn't been the case. The case has been adjourned to March 22 for a “pretrial conference,” but a date for resuming the trial has not been set.

To further complicate matters, the lead Crown prosecutor on the case, Martin Nadon, will be appointed as a provincial court judge next month.

Dan McLaughlin, spokesperson for the BC Prosecution Service says Nadon will be replaced as the prosecutor on the matter before the trial resumes. It's unclear if this will result in any significant delays.

Both Vaten and Truant are currently out of custody on bail.

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

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