The young woman charged with Ashlee Hyatt’s murder was drunk, dishevelled and crying profusely as she fled the party that spun out of control hours earlier.
According to a young man who lived “two to three minutes away” from the Peachland house where Hyatt, 16, was fatally wounded, the accused unwittingly brought him into the fray at around 9 p.m. June 2, 2010, when she showed up at his house.
“She was at the front door crying,” he testified Monday, adding he was in his basement reading a book.
The now 18-year-old girl stood in front of him shoeless and makeup was streaming down her face from all the tears, he testified.
The smell of alcohol was obvious and she was radiating heat and slurring the odd word.
“She said she was at (a friend’s) partying, and there were people arguing and fighting,” he said.
“She said, ‘people were saying she had a knife’.”
He asked her why anyone would think she was carrying a weapon and if someone was hurt.
She said “no,” to the knife query and asked “why would (she) hurt anybody?” he said.
During Monday’s testimony, he said that she just continually reiterated that people were arguing and pushing each other around that night.
Little else came out of the conversations that went on until around 11 p.m., when the accused’s mother picked her up and the night came to an end.
Whether the accused did or didn’t have a knife has consistently been an issue throughout the trial.
Two of the teenage witnesses have said she was carrying a pocketknife that night, as they knew her to carry one in the past.
They also testified they saw her holding a knife after she and Hyatt stopped fighting. Hyatt had moved to the shoulder of the road with a cut to her neck, and two of her friends attended to her, while another allegedly got into a fight aimed at removing the blade from the accused’s hand.
Jacki Sutherland, who had been at the party house, and eventually cleared the scene, said she also saw the accused with a knife in the kitchen, though it was relinquished before she went into the street where the fatal altercation allegedly occurred.
A pocket knife was seized from that scene, though it’s unclear which girl it was grabbed from, as the witness grabbed it from a pair of girls who were fighting, and he didn’t get a good look at either of them.
In general, it seems that the adults who were on scene that night for official purposes or just by happenstance found themselves caught up in a teenage drama that was out of control.
Const. Martha Kennedy arrived on the scene around 9:43 p.m., and said she tried to get the teens involved to stay still so she could gather information, but it was difficult.
The 17-year-old host of the party, for example, was upset and frantic.
“”She was upset, crying and I could smell alcohol coming from her,” she testified.
“I couldn’t get (logical) words from her.”
The teen did convey that she was worried about her friend.
Another female partygoer who smelled of alcohol would be asked to stand in one spot, and would eventually meander away when she wasn’t being watched.
Two more boys were a bit easier to control, though they too had issues.
The names of many of the witnesses and the accused are protected under the Youth Criminal Justice Act.
The trial continues throughout the week.