One of the men accused of a fatal stabbing in downtown Kelowna during Canada Day in 2018 took the stand on Wednesday, and told the judge that he doesn’t remember any of the events around that time.
Noah Vaten, who is one of the men accused in the manslaughter of Esa Carriere, said he went down to City Park to watch the fireworks earlier in the afternoon.
He had spent the day drinking and smoking cannabis, and his last memory is doing a line of cocaine while it was still light out, he said.
Vaten testified that his next memory isn’t until hours later, when he was arrested for kicking at the windows of the Rutland police station.
Court heard he then spent the night in the drunk tank but was released the next morning, as police hadn’t connected the homicide to Vaten at that point.
Vaten said he hitchhiked across the country about a month later to meet up with his brother in Toronto.
He would finally be arrested for manslaughter in Manitoba in January 2019 while he was on a trip to visit his mother.
During a police interview, he consistently told officers that he has no memory of the stabbing.
“I didn’t know basically if I stabbed anybody or not,” he told court. “I trusted the police that if I did stab somebody, they would do their job.”
Vaten told the judge he has been homeless for much of his life, and he played video games to deal with his anxiety.
He said that when the officer told him during his police interview that he could play video games in jail, he felt like he was being offered a home to live in, food to eat, and games to play.
Court heard that’s when he admitted to killing Carriere, although even at the time he still maintained that he didn’t remember how.
The Crown cross-examined Vaten Wednesday afternoon.
“You’re not telling the court that you did not stab Esa Carriere?” the Crown asked.
“That’s correct,” Vaten replied.
“It’s entirely possible that you did stab Esa Carriere?” the prosecution asked.
“Theoretically,” Vaten said, adding that there’s a possibility to everything.
Vaten admitted to having an association with the people who had a role in Carriere’s death
He also went on to say that if he did know what happened that night, he would have pled guilty if he was guilty.
Four people were originally charged with Carriere’s manslaughter, although two of the accused’s identities are protected under a publication ban because they were minors at the time of the offence.
Nathan Truant is also on trial for manslaughter, although the case has largely centred around Vaten’s activities.
Vaten is expected to continue on the stand on Thursday.
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