Kelowna man's aggravated assault trial wraps up; decision expected March 31

Bat assault trial wraps up

A Kelowna man will have to wait another six weeks to learn if he’ll be convicted of an alleged aggravated assault that occurred in August 2021.

George Young’s two-week trial began back on Feb. 6, and included testimony from several police officers, eyewitness, a doctor and Young himself. Notably, the alleged victim Tyler Takeda refused to testify against Young.

The trial was originally set to be in front of a jury, but Young opted to proceed with a judge-alone trial at the last minute, after the jury selection process had already begun.

At the beginning of trial, Crown prosecutor Mallory Treddenick said a video of a portion of the incident was “the most compelling piece of evidence” in the case.

The video, taken from a bystander in Kelowna’s Econo Lodge parking lot on the afternoon of Aug. 14, 2021, was played in court several times throughout the trial. The video showed a man striking another man with a baseball bat twice, in the head area and the torso.

The video only shows a portion of the altercation and the crown alleges Young struck Takeda between three and five times. This belief comes from witness testimony and from the injuries Takeda suffered.

In a rare move, Justice Geoffrey Gomery placed a publication ban on the entirety of Young’s testimony, at the request of the defence. This makes up the majority of the defence's case. The ban covers the crown’s and defence’s references to any of Young’s testimony. The arguments and reasoning for the ban also can’t be reported.

The ban will remain in place until Justice Gomery delivers his decision on March 31, when portions of Young's testimony may be excluded from the ban.

Following the Aug. 14, 2021 incident, the victim of the attack left in a black pickup truck and attended Kelowna General Hospital, while the bat-wielding man left the scene. Video of Takeda arriving at KGH's emergency room was also shown in court.

Later that same day, police arrested Young outside a home that was just a few doors down from where the attack occurred.

Defence council Michael Patterson and Crown prosecutor Treddenick delivered their closing statements in the trial Friday. The bulk of their arguments can’t be reported due to the publication ban in place.

Young was previously convicted of criminal negligence causing death and failing to remain at the scene back in 2011. Young had run over Joel Reimer in the early hours of New Year's Day 2010, following a fight between the two men.

Young was initially charged with second-degree murder, but he took a plea deal with the Crown and was sentenced to 6.5 years.

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