Courtroom packed for start of murder trial in Courtenay

In a packed courtroom, the families of James Denton and his accused listened during the first day of trial for Denton's alleged killer.

FAMILY AND FRIENDS of James Denton were at the courthouse in Courtenay on Monday for the start of a trial for a 16-year-old accused of killing Denton.

FAMILY AND FRIENDS of James Denton were at the courthouse in Courtenay on Monday for the start of a trial for a 16-year-old accused of killing Denton.

In a packed courthouse Monday, the families of James Denton and his accused listened carefully to three witnesses during the first day of

trial stemming from Denton’s death last year.

As Crown prosecutor Gordon Baines noted in his opening statement, Denton, 19, was stabbed twice last July — once in the left armpit and once in the left lower back — near the entrance to G.P. Vanier Secondary School following the conclusion of a day-long music festival at the nearby Comox Valley

Exhibition Grounds.

Baines added Denton collapsed almost immediately and was unresponsive. He later died of the two stab wounds at St.

Joseph’s General Hospital in Comox.

The 16-year-old suspect accused of his death — who cannot be identified because of the Youth Criminal Justice Act — has been charged with second-degree murder, although Crown indicated in the past he will seek an adult sentence against the

suspect if convicted.

The suspect, dressed in a white dress shirt and black pants, walked in shackles to the prisoner’s dock, and avoided eye contact with the gallery as he sat to the right of his lawyer,

Victoria-based Michael Mulligan.

He remained silent throughout the afternoon, but quietly responded “not guilty” when Supreme Court Justice

R.B.T. Goepel asked for his plea.

Baines said he will present 23 witnesses in total — four police officers and 19 civilian witnesses —

during the judge-only trial, which is scheduled to last until June 22.

Outside the courthouse, sheriffs presided over the large crowd of friends and

family of both the Denton family and that of the accused.

“(I want to) make this guy pay — the harshest penalties available by law as an adult,” said James’ father, Dave Denton, who was surrounded by

supporters wearing Justice for James T-shirts.

“You want to be a big man? Pay for your crime like a big man,” he noted, and added he is grateful for the support.

“What would we be if we were standing here by ourselves? There’s power in numbers. If I was standing here by myself, I’d probably just dig a whole

and climb in.”


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

G.P. Vanier in Courtenay has six members of the community who have tested positive; Island Health identified seven staff and 78 students who will be required to self-isolate. Black Press file photo
SD71 identifies eight positive cases of COVID-19 and instructs 108 people to self-isolate

The letter noted that all who have tested positive did not contract COVID-19 within the school sites

Geoff Garbutt takes over as City of Courtenay CAO on April 14. Photo supplied
Courtenay council selects new city CAO

A new Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) will be joining the City of… Continue reading

Two vehicles collided Wednesday morning north of Courtenay on the Old Island Highway. Photo by Mike Chouinard
Two-car MVA north of Courtenay

Accident took place after 7 a.m. on the Old Island Highway

COVID cases in the Bella Coola Valley have dropped to just four active cases (file photo)
Comox Valley COVID spike the result of ‘a series of multiple social gatherings’

North Island Medical Health Officer Dr. Charmaine Enns says the recent spike… Continue reading

FILE – A COVID-19 vaccine being prepared. (Olivia Sullivan/Sound Publishing)
B.C. seniors 80 years and older to get COVID vaccine details over next 2 weeks: Henry

Province is expanding vaccine workforce as officials ramp up age-based rollout

Dr. Bonnie Henry talk about the next steps in B.C.'s COVID-19 Immunization Plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, January 22, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
456 new COVID-19 cases in B.C., 2 deaths

Since January 2020, 78,278 have tested positive for the novel coronavirus in B.C.

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette)
Vaccinating essential workers before seniors in B.C. could save lives: experts

A new study says the switch could also save up to $230 million in provincial health-care costs

The Town of Comox will formally examine speeding within the town. Black Press file photo
Comox to examine speeding within town

Following discussions at various council meetings, Comox council will formally examine speeding… Continue reading

A male customer without a face mask is seen inside a Burnaby Canadian Tire amidst an altercation with store security and staff members. (Video/Screen grab)
VIDEO: Man arrested after allegedly punching Burnaby Canadian Tire staff over mask rule

Mounties received reports Monday of a customer having punched more than one employee

According to a new poll, a majority of Canadians want to see illicit drugs decriminalized. (THE ASSOCIATED PRESS)
Majority of Canadians think it’s high time to decriminalize illicit drugs: poll

More than two-times the B.C. residents know someone who died from an overdose compared to rest of Canada

VIDEO: Lynx grabs lunch in Kamloops

A lynx surprises a group of ducks and picks one off for lunch

A conceptual drawing of the preferred conveyance route for the Comox Valley Sewer Service.
Preferred conveyance route chosen for Comox Valley Sewer Service

The Comox Valley Sewage Commission approved a plan Tuesday to upgrade the… Continue reading

Most Read