Derek Descoteau was killed in Chemainus in 2016. (submitted)

Sight of murder weapon disturbing for family in trial of Chemainus man

Family members wept and a sheriff provided tissues

Family members wept and a sheriff provided tissues for one member of the gallery as a third day of testimony in the murder trial of Colin John wrapped up Wednesday.

It was the sight of a menacing looking buck knife produced by Cpl. Kiel Pharis, the RCMP officer in charge of evidence at the trial of the man accused of killing Derek Descoteau in 2016, that brought tears.

As Pharis reached into the bag containing the weapon, Descoteau’s mother, Brenda Smith, sobbed quietly as her husband, Steve, put his arm around her shoulder to console her. Other members of the gallery, most of them family members or friends of Derek, reached out to offer support.

Pharis was on the stand late Wednesday and methodically introduced into evidence various items seized at the scene of Descoteau’s murder at his residence on Caswell Street in Chemainus. John is charged with second-degree murder in Descoteau’s death and attempted murder related to an attack on Descoteau’s girlfriend, Janelle Guyatt, who was 16 at the time.

The RCMP officer told the court the brown handled knife with a bloody blade was found on the ground next to the house. It was sent to a lab to be tested for fingerprints and DNA evidence. Police also seized a pair of sunglasses on the day of the murder.

Two days after the murder, Pharis and other officers gathered at the basement suite occupied by the 20-year-old Descoteau to look for additional evidence.

They found a semi-automatic pistol with a homemade silencer near the couch in the living room.

Court was told earlier in the trial that Descoteau and Guyatt were attacked while they were lying on a couch watching television in the early afternoon.

“I heard the dog growl and there was somebody standing behind the couch,” Guyatt testified on the first day of the trial.

“He was holding a knife in his hand, above his shoulder.”

Descoteau suffered a number of stab wounds and died en route to hospital. Guyatt was stabbed five times and spent more than two weeks in hospital.

Cpl. Pharis returned to the stand on Thursday morning.

The Supreme Court trial continues at the Duncan courthouse today and is expected to last three weeks.

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

Just Posted

Carlos del Junco and the Blues Mongrels return to Courtenay

Eight-time Maple Blues winner Carlos del Junco and his Blues Mongrels return… Continue reading

Orcas spotted hunting north of Comox

Did you see the orcas in the area on Feb. 20? Ella… Continue reading

PHOTOS: Iconic aircraft at 19 Wing Comox entrance undergoes facelift

PHOTOS: Iconic aircraft at 19 Wing Comox entrance undergoes facelift

Wounded Warrior makes a few Comox Valley stops on Feb. 26

Organizers release schedule for stops on this year’s relay run on the Island

VIDEO: Comox airport’s Make-A-Wish send-off fit for a galaxy not so far away

Mattias Beck, 15, received an extra special start for Make-A-Wish trip

Fashion Fridays: The 8 best quality online stores! Shop the ultimate sales

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Comox Valley Beefs & Bouquets for week of Feb. 18

More beefs to the tip-expecting server; a bouquet to BC Transit

Petition seeks to remove local police department from Lindsay Buziak murder case

American woman starts online petition in hopes of helping Buziak family

Health officials confirm sixth COVID-19 case in B.C.

Woman remains in isolation as Fraser Health officials investigate

Study says flu vaccine protected most people during unusual influenza season

Test-negative method was pioneered by the BC Centre for Disease Control in 2004

Saskatchewan and B.C. reach championship round at Scotties

British Columbia’s Corryn Brown locked up the last berth in Pool B

Resident discovers five discarded hog heads in Vancouver Island ditch

WARNING: Graphic image may be upsetting to some readers

B.C. lawyer, professor look to piloting a mental-health court

In November, Nova Scotia’s mental-health court program marked 10 years of existence

Development proposal in Courtenay stalled at third reading

A development proposal adjacent to the Crown Isle Resort and Golf Community… Continue reading

Most Read