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Accused killer’s hazy memory leads to vague answers during Kelowna manslaughter trial

Noah Vaten was on the stand for the third day in a row on Friday
Noah Vaten (left) having a cigarette out front of the Kelowna Law Courts on a brief break during his manslaughter trial on March 8, 2021. (Michael Rodriguez/Capital News)

Noah Vaten was again taken to task by Crown prosecutors in a Kelowna courtroom on Friday as his manslaughter trial continued.

Vaten is accused of being part of the four-person group that chased down and beat Esa Carriere to death in downtown Kelowna on Canada Day in 2018, with the Crown alleging Vaten dealt the fatal stab to Carriere’s heart.

The morning proceedings saw Crown prosecutor Colin Forsyth pore over security camera footage in Vaten’s third day on the stand, asking him to identify people and locations — to little avail.

Vaten maintains that he does not have any memory of most of the night on July 1, 2018, stating earlier in the trial he had “consumed too much cocaine.”

READ MORE: Accused Kelowna killer ‘blacked out’ on cocaine, kicked cop shop window looking for help

Forsyth asked Vaten several times to identify people shown in different clips from the night, with Vaten’s answers containing qualifying language almost every time.

“The reason I don’t want to sit here and agree it is me is because I have no personal recollection of these events happening,” Vaten explained.

“I don’t want to sit here and say, ‘Yes, that’s me,’ with no memory of doing it, but I can sit here and tell you that I personally believe that to be me from watching the video. But without my own recollection of doing this, I don’t feel comfortable under affirmation saying for 100 per cent fact that’s me.”

Vaten applied the same logic to the other people the Crown asked him to identify, other than a couple of times when the person’s face was clearly visible — once identifying his co-accused Nathan Truant and one of the two youths charged in the case.

The trial resumed on Wednesday following a break after the conclusion of a voir dire, after which BC Supreme Court justice Allison Beames ruled Vaten’s confession to police after he was arrested in Manitoba in January 2019 was admissible as evidence.

Two witnesses called to the stand earlier in the trial also said Vaten confessed to them following Carriere’s death — one person he met in the drunk tank on the night of the attack and one of his friends the morning after.

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 lengthy trial for Vaten and Truant is anticipated to continue into next week.

READ MORE: Accused in 2018 Kelowna Canada Day killing takes stand during manslaughter trial


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