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‘Justice is served’: Family speaks out after 2018 Kelowna manslaughter sentencing

Noah Vaten pled guilty and was convicted of manslaughter

The Kelowna man charged in the death of Esa Carriere who was stabbed and beaten on Canada Day in 2018 was sentenced in B.C. supreme court on thursday (March 3).

The accused Noah Vaten, was sentenced to four years and three months in prison after pleading guilty to manslaughter in September 2021.

Carriere, 23 at the time of the attack, and had recently moved to Kelowna. Carriere and Vaten encountered eachother downtown Kelowna. According to court testimony, an altercation ensued.

Carriere then ran away yelling that he was sorry, testified witnesses.

Carriere was chased and then surrounded and beaten by multiple people in downtown Kelowna on the night of July 1. It was ruled that Vaten was involved in the assault and delivered a single fatal stab to Carriere’s heart.

Vaten has already served the equivalent of two years and four months in jail, which will count towards his sentence. The judge ruled that he will serve an additional one year and eleven months in jail followed by 36 months of probation. Vaten has consented to undergo rehabilitation and a psychiatric evaluation.

Nathan Truant, also implicated in the death was sentenced to time served in November. Two others involved in the death cannot be named as they were underage at the time of the incident.

According to Crown prosecutors, Vaten and his friends were intoxicated at the time of the attack.

“I was given too much liquor and cocaine,” said Vaten.

Vaten was caught by police on the night of the assault after kicking a window at a police department.

He was then placed in a ‘drunk tank.’

“I think I wanted to go to the drunk tank that night because I knew I was too high and drunk… I kicked the cop shop window because I needed help… I knew my friends weren’t going to help me,” said Vaten in court during the trials.

While held for his intoxication, Vaten disclosed to his cellmate that he had stabbed a man earlier that evening.

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

His cellmate from that night testified earlier in the trial that Vaten confessed to the killing and even reenacted it. Vaten’s friend, Colby McKee-Lanchick, also testified earlier in the trial that Vaten admitted to the killing the morning after it happened.

Despite initially admitting to the stabbing, Vaten began trials with a not-guilty plea.

READ MORE: Manslaughter trial begins for two accused in Kelowna Canada Day killing

He alleges that the night’s memories were clouded by drugs and alcohol abuse from “one night of loss of sobriety.” He claims that he has since maintained sobriety other than marijuana, which he uses to self-medicate for anxiety.

On March 8, 2021, Vaten told the interrogating officer his memory is spotty due to the drugs and alcohol he used on the night of the attack. He claimed he blacked out at 8 p.m., hours before Carriere was attacked just before 11 p.m.

In a turn of events on Sept. 28, 2021, Vaten stood up in court and changed his plea to guilty.

READ MORE: Surprise guilty plea derails Kelowna manslaughter trial

Vaten alleges that videos of the assault being played as evidence and witness statements prompted his memories of the night to return.

He stated that he was having “flashbacks” of certain details about the attack that killed Carriere. He alleges that the memories were prompted by the trial evidence and cross-examination.

Vaten’s lawyer said that Vaten stood up immediately after having an “epiphany” in court.

Today, Vaten said that he was remorseful for his actions.

“I don’t know why I did that. Nothing will ever justify my actions

I’m a completely different person when I drink and do drugs,” said Vaten.

Vaten stated in a testimony that he regrets his actions. He said that he will work to better himself, in Carriere’s honour.

Carriere’s parents provided victim statements in court. They did not advocate for extended jail time or maximum punishment.

“The value of life cannot be measured by days spent in a jail cell,” said Carriere’s mother.

“Noah, I see you now for the first time. and I ask you, are you sorry?” said the victim’s mother.

Vaten replied tearfully, “yes… yes I am.”

“That person on Canada Day isn’t you,” said the mother.

Vaten shook his head, no.

The victim’s parents shared an embrace after court adjourned (Jacqueline Gelineau/Capital News)
The victim’s parents shared an embrace after court adjourned (Jacqueline Gelineau/Capital News)

He has stated that he is “extremely remorseful” and he will work to better himself, in Carriere’s honour.

Vaten has no prior convictions or history of violence, said the Crown.

“One could say it is remarkable that he had no priors,” said counsel after explaining that Vaten has has a “chaotic upbringing”. Vaten experienced homelessness, hunger, neglect and abuse throughout his life, said Crown counsel.

“I think the only way I could truly honour Essa’s life is by becoming a better version of myself,” said Vaten, who said he is committed to living a better life.

“He is twice the man I will ever be. I don’t think he deserved it at all,” said Vaten.

Vaten and his family having a smoke break on a break from court (Jacqueline Gelineau/Capital News)
Vaten and his family having a smoke break on a break from court (Jacqueline Gelineau/Capital News)

READ MORE: Emotional testimony from accused Kelowna Canada Day killer’s friend in manslaughter trial


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Jacqueline Gelineau

About the Author: Jacqueline Gelineau

I'm a reporter in the beginning stages of my career. I joined the team at Capital News in November 2021...
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