Esa Carriere was stabbed to death on the lawn of Kelowna City Hall after being chased by four people on Canada Day, a prosecutor says.
The manslaughter trial of Noah Vaten and Nathan Truant began Monday with the Crown outlining the series of events said to have led to the killing of Carriere, 23, on July 1, 2018.
As the Canada Day fireworks were exploding that night over downtown Kelowna, there was a dispute between Carriere and a group of people near the Kasugai Gardens behind City Hall, court heard.
Carriere "may have struck Mr. Vaten", Crown prosecutor Martin Nadon told B.C. Supreme Court judge Alison Beames, who is presiding over the trial without a jury. Carriere then ran off, Nadon said.
"Mr. Carriere was chased and caught and assaulted by a group of four individuals," Nadon said. "During that assault, Mr. Carriere was stabbed in the heart and subsequently died of that injury."
Vaten and Truant have pleaded not guilty. One young offender has already been sentenced in connection with Carriere's killing, and another faces trial in March.
The Crown's theory is that Vaten is the one who stabbed Carriere. The Crown's case will rely on confessions he allegedly made to two people with whom he shared a jail cell, Nadon said.
There will also be statements from other witnesses, images recorded by surveillance cameras in the area where the killing took place, and tests showing Carriere's genetic material was recovered from a nearby curb where cameras recorded an image of someone bending down and wiping an object, Nadon said.
The Crown's case is expected to last until March 10, court heard. Kelowna lawyer Grant Gray is representing Truant while Salmon Arm lawyer Glenn Verdurmen is representing Vaten.
Court heard the defence will contest the admissibility of some statements given to police.
Carriere, 23, had only recently moved to Kelowna when he was killed. He was working as a chef at Kelly O'Bryan's, a downtown restaurant.
After Carriere was stabbed, Nadon said, two young offenders remained in the vicinity of the killing. One was detained by security guards.
Vaten and Truant, Nadon said, got on a bus and went to Rutland. Vaten was arrested at 1:30 a.m. on July 2, 2018 for causing a disturbance outside the Rutland community policing office.
Vaten was not initially linked to the Carriere killing, Nadon said, and he was released later that morning.
While Vaten was lodged in cells, Nadon said, he confessed to the killing to another person, who was subsequently interviewed by police. Vaten is also said to have made another confession to an undercover officer after being arrested in January 2019 in Manitoba in connection with Carriere's killing.
The trial continues.