The two men charged with setting fire to a drunken teen passed out on a kitchen floor will stay behind bars until their trials.
Mathew Sweet-Grant and Joshua McWhirter stared at the floor as a judge ordered them detained on charges of aggravated assault Thursday afternoon. Judge Ellen Burdett watched a video of the alleged incident and listened to two hours of legal arguments before refusing them bail.
A court-ordered ban forbids the Crown's version of what happened from publication. RCMP say the 18-year-old victim passed out during a house party early Saturday morning. One man poured a flammable liquid on the back of his clothes and lit him on fire while the other filmed it on a phone camera.
Police allege McWhirter, 18, held the phone as Sweet-Grant, 20, ignited the victim's clothes. Neighbours say the 18-year-old woke up in flames and ran outside to extinguish them.
He made his way home, where his stepfather took him to hospital.
He suffered second- and third-degree burns on most of his back. Emergency staff called police, who swooped in Saturday night on the party home - a ground-level suite in a low-income housing complex called Vechio's Corner on Highway 97 just north of Highway 33.
Sweet-Grant lived there with a man named Vaughan. Officers found them and several young people there.
They took away Sweet-Grant in handcuffs and arrested McWhirter at another address a day or two later. Police seized a phone they believe contains footage of Sweet-Grant lighting the fire.
"Plainclothes guys went in and searched," said neighbour Vince Slof, 45. "When the cops came out, they had a bag full of phones. His mom even said it was on the phone. And one of the kids that was there . . . said he saw it on the phone."
The victim, who's still in hospital, had collapsed on a neighbour's doorstep. The neighbour escorted him back to the party house and pounded on the door so someone would let him back in.
"He went to open the window to throw the kid inside the house," Slof said. "Vaughan let the kid in, and the kid passed out on the floor."
He apparently woke up hours later and walked home.
Sweet-Grant had lived with Vaughan for six or seven months. They seem like "typical pot-head, drinking partying kids," said Slof. Sweet-Grant would come over for the odd meal and ask Slof and his wife Julie to look after his guitars when he was away.
"The kid's never done me any harm," Slof said. "He's a good kid. But everybody has an issue."
A look at his Facebook page bears that out. Under the heading "Stoned pyro bro's," Sweet-Grant posted a series of photos of a man setting fire to himself in different poses.
One appears to show him sitting in a chair as his crotch erupts in flames. Others show flames on the front of his T-shirt, the bum of his jeans and the back of his hoodie.
Slof said he was shocked when he learned of the charges.
"It was a prank that went a little too far," he said. "Setting somebody on fire as a joke? That's not a joke. That's really scary. Really scary."
The men were bused up to Kamloops jail for the weekend. They return to court in Kelowna on Monday.