April 20, 2016 6:16 pm
Updated: April 20, 2016 8:28 pm

Man who witnessed fatal Edmonton LRT attack testifies on Day 1 of second-degree murder trial

WATCH ABOVE: It was an attack that took the life of a 29-year-old man and terrified LRT passengers. Today, the trial began for the man accused of the murder. Kendra Slugoski reports.


EDMONTON — Family members of John Hollar sobbed in court Wednesday, and some left the room as LRT surveillance video was played showing the vicious and fatal 2012 attack on the 29-year old.

Hollar boarded the LRT on the afternoon of Dec. 28, 2012 and was soon followed by Jeremy Newborn, the man charged with second-degree murder in Hollar’s death.

Passenger Manwar Khan spoke to Global News in the days following the attack and questioned if more could have been done to save Hollar.

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READ MORE: Man who witnessed fatal LRT attack empowers others to stand up against bullying

In court Wednesday, Khan testified a man dressed in black was chasing another man, punching him in the face and chest. He said he heard him yell, “leave me alone, don’t hit me.” Khan said the man didn’t fight back.

Passengers moved to the other end of the LRT car while the assault continued, court heard.

Khan told court he was scared.

‘We were all scared,” he said.

When Khan saw blood he told the man to stop hitting the victim, but said he didn’t stop.

When the LRT train stopped at the Belvedere station Khan said he got off and alerted an ETS staff member, who told him police had been called.

Khan said he watched as the man continued to punch the victim. The doors of the LRT train closed and the train left the station.

Screen capture of ETS surveillance video of the Dec. 28, 2012 attack.

Credit, Crown evidence

Video captured the lifeless body of Hollar at the front of the car. Newborn could be seen sitting down on a transit seat near Hollar, then walking toward the other end of the car.

Newborn was arrested at the Clareview Station.

Hollar was found unconscious on the floor of the LRT car and was rushed to hospital where he later died.

On Dec. 30, 2012 when police told Newborn that Hollar was not expected to live, Newborn told police “He is going to be alright. I know he’s going to be okay. He’s a tough kid.”

READ MORE: Victim beaten on Edmonton transit train dies in hospital of injuries

The jury trial is scheduled until May 13.

© 2016 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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