The man accused of fatally stabbing Esa Carriere during a Canada Day fireworks display in 2018 took the stand during his manslaughter trial on Wednesday, Sept. 22.
Noah Vaten and his co-accused, Nathan Truant, are charged with manslaughter concerning the attack that killed Carriere near the Queensway Transit Exchange — with the Crown alleging Vaten dealt the killing blow.
Vaten took the stand as their trial continued, spending much of the day being questioned by his own lawyer and Crown prosecutors.
Giving his own version of the night’s events, Vaten said he and his friends planned to watch the fireworks that night at City Park, where he met up with Truant and consumed a large amount of cocaine. He said he remembered consuming the drug when a police officer walked up to the group but didn’t remember anything after that. Vaten maintains he does not remember much of what happened that night after consuming too much cocaine.
The next thing he remembered was kicking the window of the Rutland Community Policing Office and being arrested the following morning. He also remembered being put into a drunk tank and spending the night in a holding cell. He said he didn’t remember what happened that night, but his cellmate from that night testified earlier in the trial that Vaten confessed to the killing and reenacted it.
Vaten said he has no memory of meeting anyone at the Queensway Transit Exchange. He also didn’t remember allegedly stabbing Carriere, claiming he heard about the incident through other people. Vaten said he didn’t know Carriere, nor did he have any dispute with Carriere prior to that night.
Vaten said his arrest in Manitoba, six months after Carriere was killed, shocked and scared him. While being interrogated by the police, Vaten admitted to the killing — a confession that Justice Allison Beames ruled admissible in court — but on Wednesday, Vaten said he only confessed because he was anxious and wanted the interview to be over with.
During cross-examination by the Crown counsel on Wednesday afternoon, Vaten said he knew he had a role in the situation but didn’t know what it is.
When asked whether or not he tried to dispose of evidence by stuffing the knife he allegedly used to kill Carriere down a storm drain, Vaten agreed but denied that he cleaned the blood off the knife. He also said he did not know that the blood on the knife belonged to Carriere. Instead, Vaten said he thought the blood was from a cut on his finger from the night before, pointing to a scar on his finger.
Four people were charged with manslaughter in the incident, including two youths, one of whom is still awaiting trial. The other was sentenced to a 15-month rehabilitative program in January 2021.
The trial continues.