by Dave Preston
Nearly 29 months after 16-year-old Ashlee Hyatt was murdered, details of the events leading to her death are just now seeing the light of day.
An 18-year-old female is accused of killing Hyatt at a house party in Peachland on June 2, 2010. Because she was 16 at the time, she cannot be named under the Youth Criminal Justice Act.
The accused faces charges of second degree murder and assault causing bodily harm.
After days of jury selection and evidence admissibility arguments by lawyers, the accused’s trial began in B.C. Supreme Court in Kelowna Friday.
On opening day of the murder trial, which is expected to last two weeks, Crown Counsel Murray Kay told the jury the would hear evidence that would highlight how Hyatt got in a “confrontation, argument and subsequent fight” with the accused, according to the Kelowna Capital News.
The jury is comprised of six men and six women.
“At the end of the fight, Ashlee Hyatt was fatally wounded by a knife,” said Kay.
The accused allegedly got into a fight with another person, inflicting more knife wounds.
Peachlander Clive Sutherland was at the home along with his wife and another friend to break up the party and he witnessed the scene, according to Kay.
“He saw two girls struggling and a third girl on the ground. He took the knife from one of the girls that was struggling before helping the girl on the ground,” wrote Capital News Reporter Kathy Michaels.
The girl on the ground was Ashlee Hyatt.
Partygoers who witnessed the confrontation and police who collected evidence in the aftermath of the incident will be called upon to testify, according to Kay.
Cnst. Tyler Folz was the first police officer to arrive on scene and he was the first to take the stand on Friday, according to the Capital News.
Folz stated he was on general duty when he was informed by police dispatch of a possible stabbing on San Clemente Avenue in Peachland at 9:35 p.m., according to Castanet.net.
When Folz arrived he saw a male youth frantically pointing down the street and Folz saw a female youth on her back with two people attending her, Castanet.net reported.
“(She) was in a state of unconsciousness,” Folz said, according to the Capital News. “Her eyes were partially rolled back, and her breath was shallow.”
Paramedics soon arrived and Folz began collecting evidence.
From Sutherland, Folz was given a black folding knife with black handle, according to the Capital News. “It was closed when I received it from him. I noticed a red residue.”
Folz turned his attention to two teenage males that were standing next to him. Mike Baxter was one of the teenagers.
“He was very quiet and calm, almost in shock. He appeared completely sober to me,” Folz said, according to Castanet.
Baxter was killed in a rollover vehicle accident last Thursday on west of Peachland on Princeton Avenue. Baxter’s memorial service was held Friday afternoon in Peachland.
Folz found evidence including two blood stains — one on the roadway and another on the gravel road shoulder near the house, a piece of blonde hair and a small silver earring. He also seized a small black Henkle cutting knife from the home’s kitchen.
A boot with red residue on it was recovered from the lawn of a house across the street. The matching boot was later recovered.
The trial will resume Monday.