A close friend of a boy accused of second-degree murder told a Courtenay courtroom Friday that he and the accused were in a “deep conversation … how you wouldn’t want to stab someone” hours before James Denton was killed last year.
The B.C. Supreme Court courtroom, which was filled to capacity with friends and family of Denton and the accused, heard how the friend and accused were drinking near the Vanier track before and while they attended the nearby Rhythm on the Rock Music Festival on July 23.
The witness testified while he and the accused were taking shots out of a 26-ounce bottle of whisky, they began their conversation. He explained to Crown council that they were “talking about life — how things happen really quick. How you wouldn’t want to stab someone because you can mess up someone’s life so quickly.”
He also told Crown he knew the accused to own a buck knife but was unsure at the time if he was carrying it on him.
The witness confirmed he was “pretty drunk” after he and the accused returned about four times back and forth from the festival to the track area to finish the bottle of alcohol, and confirmed to Crown he believed the accused was drunk.
During cross-examination, defence lawyer Michael Mulligan asked the witness if, while being confronted by a larger, older group of boys near the intersection of Schellinck Drive and Headquarters Road, if it was “pretty scary for the group of boys?”
“Yes,” the witness replied, and confirmed he believed the larger group was going to fight them.
The 16-year old accused cannot be identified because of the Youth Criminal Justice Act. The Crown counsel previously indicated he would seek an adult sentence if the suspect is convicted.
The trial will continue at 2 p.m. Monday, and is scheduled until June 22.