Noah Vaten told police he ‘blacked out’ early in the evening after consuming too much cocaine on the night he’s alleged to have fatally stabbed Esa Carriere in downtown Kelowna.
He and his co-accused, Nathan Truant, are charged with manslaughter concerning the attack that killed Carriere near the Queensway Transit Exchange on Canada Day in 2018 as a fireworks display rung out above.
Their ongoing trial continued on Monday (March 8), as the Crown showed interrogation footage taken after Vaten’s arrest in Manitoba on Jan. 26, 2019. After police arrested and charged Vaten in Winnipegosis, Man., he was taken to Dauphin, Man. where police questioned him.
Vaten told the interrogating officer his memory is spotty due to the drugs and alcohol he used that night. He claimed he blacked out at 8 p.m., hours before Carriere was attacked just before 11 p.m. When the interrogator asked him if he’d seen the fireworks, which happened at the same time Carriere was attacked, Vaten paused briefly before saying he didn’t think he had.
The next thing he remembered with certainty was his arrest early the next morning — not for the alleged stabbing but for causing a disturbance in front of the Rutland Community Policing Office.
“I remember very clearly [the cop] being like, ‘Hey, you’re under arrest’ and grabbing me. And me being like, ‘Why? For what?’ And then he’s like, ‘You literally just kicked my f**cking window.’” Vaten told his interrogating officer of the arrest.
The cop put Vaten in a cruiser to take him to the Kelowna RCMP’s holding cells. Vaten said he began crying, saying, “I was given too much liquor and cocaine.”
“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.”
Vaten spent the night in a holding cell. 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.
The conversation remained cordial until the interrogator informed Vaten his story didn’t line up with accounts given to police by the people he was with that night.
“People have told us, straight up, that you’re involved in this,” the officer said following the lengthy questioning.
Vaten retorted: “If I told people I went around and did it, that’d be r*****ed, wouldn’t it?”
Vaten said if the police had evidence he had something to do with Carriere’s death, the interrogation was pointless.
“Obviously, the police officers haven’t found enough (evidence) to do anything,” he said, after having been arrested and charged with manslaughter.
The officer explained the investigative process police use, which involves talking to all parties involved. She also told him the Crown had approved the manslaughter charge against him, which means prosecutors saw a substantial likelihood of conviction based on available evidence.
After the officer left the interrogation room, Vaten leaned on a table with his head in his hand for a couple of minutes before another officer entered. He remarked Vaten looked like he had “the weight of the world on his shoulders” before escorting him out of the room.
During the trial proceedings on Monday morning, Vaten wore a Dragon Ball Z sweatshirt and sat motionless in the prisoners’ box, staring down at a monitor showing the interrogation video.
The trial continues.
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