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Accused killer a no-show during Kelowna Canada Day manslaughter trial

Nathan Truant remains in custody awaiting a bail hearing
Nathan Truant sits outside the Kelowna courthouse during a break on March 8, 2021. (Michael Rodriguez/Capital News)

One of the accused in the 2018 killing of Esa Carriere on Canada Day in downtown Kelowna is now in custody.

Nathan Truant was a no-show as the lengthy manslaughter trial continued on Wednesday, prompting Justice Allison Beames to adjourn the matter for the day and issue a warrant for his arrest.

Truant was back in court, now in custody, as proceedings resumed Thursday, but again the focus layed on his co-accused Noah Vaten, who the Crown alleges dealt the fatal stab to Carriere during an altercation on July 1, 2018.

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A voir dire determining the validity of statements Vaten made to police, including a confession, continued with arguments from the Crown. Vaten’s defence team claims that confession was made under a violation of his Charter rights, specifically concerning his right to have a lawyer present during the discussions with police.

Crown prosecutor Colin Forsyth said Vaten was perfectly aware of his right to have a lawyer present, with officers bringing it up several times, and knew the severity of the charge he was facing while talking to police shortly after his arrest.

“At no time during the course of this interview, or indeed any of the interviews did Mr. Vaten assert his right to silence,” he said.

“I would even go so far as to suggest he did at least as much, if not more, talking than the police officers did… an unusual thing in these types of interviews.”

Justice Allison Beames is expected to render her verdict on the voir dire Friday, possibly with evidence from the defence to follow. The trial will need more time before coming to a conclusion, meaning the court will need to schedule further dates, likely sometime this fall.

Two youths were also charged with manslaughter in Carriere’s death. One was sentenced to a 15-month rehabilitative program in January, while the other is still awaiting a September trial.

The court will revisit the matter of Truant’s custody in a bail hearing on Friday. Currently, he remains in custody.


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