West Kelowna teen’s murder trial gets underway

Ashlee Hyatt's accused killer sat still in the prisoner's box, with her family assembled behind her, as the first day of her trial unfolded.

Ashlee Hyatt’s accused killer sat still in the prisoner’s box, with her family assembled behind her,  as the first day of her trial unfolded.

The 18-year, whose name is protected under the youth criminal justice act, is facing charges of second degree murder and assault causing bodily harm, related to a fatal series of events at a Peachland house party, June 2, 2010.

In his opening statements, Crown Counsel Murray Kay told the jury of six men and six women, they’d hear evidence throughout the next two weeks that would highlight how Hyatt, 16, got in a “confrontation, argument, and subsequent fight” with the accused.

“At the end of the fight, Ashlee Hyatt was fatally wounded by a knife,” he said.

Then, the accused allegedly got into a second fight, doling out more knife wounds.

That scene, said Kay, was witnessed by Clive Sutherland,  an adult who was at the San Clemente Avenue home with his wife and another friend,  to break up the party.

“He was leaving (the house) and he heard yelling,” said Kay.

“He saw two girls struggling, and a third girl on the ground. He took the knife from one of the girls that was struggling before helping the girl on the ground.”

The girl on the ground was Hyatt.

To further clarify the night’s events, Kay will be calling upon police who collected evidence in the aftermath of  Hyatt’s death, as well as partygoers who watched the teenage confrontation from start to finish.

First on the stand Friday was Const. Tyler Folz, who was also first on scene that night.

He testified that he drove up to San Clemente Avenue the night of the fight near 10 p.m., and was immediately met by a young man who was pointing “frantically” down the street.

Keeping his eyes on where the teen was directing him, he saw a young woman on the gravel shoulder of the road, lying on her back, with two people attending to her.

“(She) was in a state of unconsciousness,” he said. “Her eyes were partially rolled back, and her breath was shallow.”

He tried to rouse her, but nothing happened.

Paramedics arrived shortly thereafter, and Folz went about the business of collecting evidence.

He took possession of a bloody knife, a bloodied boot, clumps of hair and multiple blood samples.

He also spoke to witnesses at the scene that night.

Folz’s testimony continued through Friday afternoon. The trial is to resume Monday.

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