One of the men charged with a fatal stabbing in downtown Kelowna on Canada Day in 2018 took the stand Wednesday and told the judge that he does not remember any of the events from that time.
Noah Vaten, who is one of the men charged with the manslaughter of Esa Carriere, said he went down to City Park to watch the fireworks in the early afternoon.
He had spent the day drinking and smoking cannabis, and his last memory is consuming a line of cocaine while it was still light, he said.
Trial of two men accused of homicide begins on Canada Day 2018 in Kelowna
Vaten testified that his next memory is not until hours later when he was arrested for kicking the windows of the Rutland Police Station.
The court heard that he spent the night in the drunk tank, but was released the next morning, as police had not linked the homicide to Vaten at the time.
Vaten said he hitchhiked across the country about a month later to meet his brother in Toronto.
He would eventually be arrested for manslaughter in Manitoba in January 2019 while traveling to visit his mother.
During an interview with police, he constantly told officers that he did not remember the stabbing.
“Basically, I didn’t know if I stabbed someone or not,” he told the court. “I trusted the police that if I stabbed someone, they would do their job.”
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Vaten told the judge that he has been homeless for much of his life and that he played video games to deal with his anxiety.
He said that when the officer told him during his interview with police that he could play video games in jail, he felt that he was offered a home to live in, food to eat and games to play.
Court heard that it was then that he admitted to killing Carriere, although even then he still maintained that he did not remember how.
The Crown questioned Vaten on Wednesday afternoon.
“Aren’t you telling the court you didn’t stab Esa Carriere?” asked the Crown.
“That’s correct,” Vaten replied.
Four accused of manslaughter in 2018 Kelowna death by stabbing
“Is it very possible that you stabbed Esa Carriere?” the prosecution asked.
“Theoretically,” Vaten said, adding that there is a possibility for everything.
Vaten admitted to having an association with the people who played a role in Carriere’s death.
He also went on to say that if he had known what happened that night, he would have pleaded guilty if he was guilty.
Surveillance video shows the last moments of the life of a Kelowna homicide victim
Four people were originally charged with Carriere’s manslaughter, although two of the defendants’ identities are protected by a publication ban because they were minors at the time of the crime.
Nathan Truant is also on trial for manslaughter, although the case has focused primarily on Vaten’s activities.
Friend of Kelowna homicide victim says Canada Day stabbing is ‘shocking’
Vaten is expected to continue on the stand Thursday.
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