Two men accused of a Canada Day homicide in Kelowna have pleaded not guilty to manslaughter.
Nathan Truant and Noah Vaten, who are both in their 20s, are accused of killing 23-year-old Esa Carriere.
The Crown said fireworks were still underway on July 1, 2018, when there was a scuffle near Kasugai Gardens involving Carriere and four other people, allegedly including both of the accused in the case.
The prosecution said Carriere may have struck Vaten before running away.
Court heard Carriere was chased by the group but fell to the ground near the Queensway bus loop, where they allegedly punched and kicked him.
Prosecutor Martin Nadon said Carriere was then stabbed in the heart, and although he was taken to hospital, he didn’t survive.
Although there is extensive video surveillance, court heard no positive identification can be made from the cameras.
The Crown’s theory is that Noah Vaten was the one who actually stabbed Carriere.
However, four people were originally charged with manslaughter.
The Crown believes that Vaten travelled to the Rutland neighbourhood after the stabbing, where he was arrested at the Rutland community police office for causing a disturbance.
He was taken to the city cells and held for the night but hadn’t yet been connected to the homicide.
The prosecution said Vaten confessed to his cellmate, who didn’t take him seriously at the time.
Nadon said that after RCMP connected Vaten to Carriere’s death, they contacted his cellmate, who is expected to testify against him.
The identity of the two other people originally charged with manslaughter is protected under the Youth Criminal Justice Act because they were both youth at the time of the offence.
A male is still facing trial, and a female has since pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of assault.
The trial for Vaten and Truant is scheduled for three weeks.
The defence has not had the opportunity to present its case.