‘I don’t remember that night’: Accused takes the stand in Kelowna manslaughter trial

Click to play video: 'Accused takes the stand in 2018 Canada Day stabbing in Kelowna' Accused takes the stand in 2018 Canada Day stabbing in Kelowna
WATCH: One of the men accused of fatally stabbing Esa Carriere at Kelowna’s Queensway bus loop during the fireworks on Canada Day in 2018 took the stand to tell the judge what he says he remembered from that night. Jules Knox reports. – Sep 22, 2021

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.

Read more: Trial begins for two men accused of 2018 Canada Day homicide in Kelowna

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.

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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.”

Read more: ‘I killed Esa:’ Suspect admits to fatal stabbing in RCMP interrogation video

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.

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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.

Read more: Four charged with manslaughter in 2018 Kelowna stabbing death

“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.

Read more: Surveillance video shows last moments of Kelowna homicide victim’s life

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.

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Read more: Friend of Kelowna homicide victim calls Canada Day stabbing ‘shocking’

Vaten is expected to continue on the stand on Thursday.

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