Noah Vaten was arrested and brought to RCMP holding cells just hours after he allegedly fatally stabbed Esa Carriere during 2018 Canada Day celebrations in downtown Kelowna. And according to his cellmate, he also confessed to the alleged killing in that cell.
The arrest, however, was unrelated to Carriere’s death. Vaten was instead picked up for causing a disturbance in front of the Rutland Community Policing Office early on July 2.
Police brought Vaten to the local detachment and had him spend the night in a cell with another person they’d arrested earlier that evening, Brandon Bailey, a tourist in Kelowna for Canada Day. Bailey took the stand on Thursday (Feb. 25) during the ongoing manslaughter trial for Vaten and another accused, Nathan Truant.
Bailey identified Vaten in court and described his demeanour on the night the two met as drunk, excitable and, most of all, talkative.
“He went right to telling me the police could have him for 14 years for murder, but they threw him in the drunk tank,” Bailey said. “He proceeded to tell me he’d just stabbed somebody.”
Bailey testified Vaten told him he’d stabbed somebody during an altercation between ‘his boys’ and another man over money. Cellblock security camera footage played in court showed what Bailey described as Vaten reenacting the alleged attack, jamming his fist into his open hand in a stabbing motion.
Bailey also noted blood on Vaten’s hands, which concerned him as Vaten kept approaching him to shake his hand, even hugging him once. Vaten said he wasn’t hurt and that it was not his blood.
The conversation was cyclical, Bailey testified, always seeming to come back to the alleged killing. Bailey said Vaten revisited the subject a number of times and claimed police were “dumb” for not realizing he’d stabbed somebody earlier that night.
The security camera footage also showed Vaten punching the cell walls and doing pushups. Bailey said this followed conversation about how “tough” Vaten was and believed him to be “asserting his strength.”
Vaten stumbled around much of the cell throughout the conversation as Bailey remained in the corner of the cell near the door.
The two eventually sat down, at which point the discussion changed tune, touching on several subjects, from why they were both there to the two singing and rapping together. Bailey said Vaten spoke at length about his rough home life and how he was couch surfing at the time. Vaten fell asleep about 45-minutes after he arrived at the cell.
Police released Bailey early the next morning before Vaten woke up. He initially didn’t take Vaten’s claims seriously, noting the arbitrarily chosen ‘14 years’ as a weird sentence for murder, but was later contacted by police for a statement.
Carriere died at Kelowna General Hospital after being stabbed in the heart near the Queensway transit exchange in downtown Kelowna on July 1, 2018.
Vaten and Truant’s trial continues. Two youth, whose names are protected under a publication ban, were also charged with manslaughter in Carriere’s death. One pleaded guilty to a lesser charge and was sentenced while the other is anticipated to stand trial in March.
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