The West Kelowna teen currently on trial for murder will finally tell her version of the events that left one of her peers dead, and turned a quiet Peachland street into a chaotic crime scene.
The 18-year-old, whose name is under a publication ban, is alleged to have stabbed Ashlee Hyatt, 16, in her neck after an argument at a June 2, 2010 party.
It’s a story that Crown Counsel Murray Kaay assembled a number of witnesses to tell from varying angles, but defence lawyer Ingrid Friesen pointed out Friday that none of those viewpoints added up to a complete picture.
“You as a jury will be the first to hear her side of the story—she wants very much to tell it,” she told a B.C. Supreme Court jury Friday. “She’s been waiting two years to tell it.”
The accused’s point of view, who defence described as a “new girl trying to fit in at a new school,” has been absent in the last two weeks of trial, with even RCMP officers who dealt with the investigation failing to offer her perspective on the night.
What the jury has learned from teen witnesses who were there, however, is that the accused kissed a boy, while her boyfriend was nearby.
This apparently upset Hyatt and the two started exchanging verbal barbs. That escalated to pushing in the street, and eventually Hyatt was fatally wounded.
Continuing on with the altercation, however, was the teenage host of the party.
Defence has already suggested she was the one who brought the knife to fight between the accused and Hyatt, and Friday they brought forth two witnesses that highlighted the teen’s behaviour in the aftermath and leading up to the fatal altercation.
They called upon George Young, who lives adjacent to the party house.
Young said he was brought into the fray when he heard a teenage boy in the street talking into his cellphone, saying, “it’s going down, it’s going down, it’s happening now.”
He closed his blinds in an effort to block the sound, and heard the blare of sirens not long after.
That sent him to the door, where one of the partying teens stood, saying, “she’s been stabbed.”
Young went with the girl to where Hyatt was being treated by paramedics, but stood back and told her and his wife to do the same.
He then tried to help police keep the teens calm, still and not talking to each other.
Of particular focus, was the host who had been detained in a police car.
Young spotted herand noted she was having an asthma attack.
With police permission, he ran to his house to get her a spare puffer, and the teen was let out of the car and sat on the ground to breathe from it.
“You could tell she was coming back… then she took off into my backyard,” he said
The teen ran away, and hid under his trailer. Police, assisted by Young, talked her out, but when she crawled out, she ran away again.
Eventually she was brought into custody again, and to the police station where she was questioned.
When asked about her state of sobriety, Young surmised that the teen smelled of alcohol but she was behaving as though she was “in shock” more than anything else.
Another neighbour named David Mulhall was also called to the witness stand Friday to speak of the events that night.
Although his view was limited, he said he heard a fair share of the party and noted he was witness to a lot of “hostile language being displayed.”
First he heard the host lobbing profanities, and kicking people out of her home.
Five minutes later, her tone changed further.
“Look what you’ve done, I couldn’t do that,” he said, he heard her say.
Mulhall also remembered the host being brought back to the crime scene after running away, and noted that she was still “extremely vocal and abusive.”