Accused says she doesn't know who stabbed Ashlee Hyatt

Kelowna Law Courts

Update: 12:37 p.m.

After spending the morning on the witness stand, the girl accused of stabbing and killing 16-year-old Ashlee Hyatt says she never had a knife and didn't stab anyone.

The accused, who cannot be named because she is a minor, said she was involved in a fight involving two other girls and when it was over, Hyatt fell to the ground and she saw another girl with a knife.

InfoTel News reporter John Sleeper is at the Kelowna Law Courts and will file a full report.

Update: 9:00 a.m.

The teen accused of second degree murder in the death of 16-year-old Ashlee Hyatt is expected to take the stand this morning in her own defence. 

The girl, who cannot be named under the Youth Criminal Justice Act, should be the first witness after the Crown wrapped up its case on Friday.

The often emotional testimony enters its fourth week.

A B.C. Supreme Court jury Thursday heard audio-recorded testimony from a witness who said he saw Ashlee Hyatt and the woman accused of her murder scuffling and that Hyatt emerged from the fight bleeding from her neck before she died. 

The six-man, six-woman jury heard Michael Baxter, who died Oct. 18 in an auto accident in Peachland testify in preliminary inquiry that Hyatt and the accused engaged in a loud argument in a Peachland street outside a residence that hosted an unsupervised drinking party on the night of June 2, 2010. The argument escalated into a physical confrontation, after which, said Baxter, the accused pulled a knife out of her purse and waved it.
"She was holding it, saying, 'I'll stab you,'" said Baxter, who testified that the accused was "super drunk" at the party.
The identities of the accused, who was 16 at the time, and others at the party are protected under the Youth Criminal Justice Act. The accused is charged with second-degree murder. Baxter, who said he observed the fighting from about 10 to 20 feet away, testified that Hyatt and the accused again fought and that the accused slashed Hyatt's right hand with the knife.
"Ashlee was holding up her hand; it was bleeding," Baxter said. "She said, 'Are you f----- kidding me? You just cut my hand.'"
Baxter said the two again fought, rolling on the street's surface, punching each other, screaming and cursing, when Hyatt suddenly stopped.
"Ashlee looked at me and she was holding her hand on a cut on her neck," Baxter said. "She was covering her neck. She was bleeding pretty bad."
Baxter said he observed Hyatt's eyes rolling back and said her face began to turn blue.
"Her neck was gushing with blood," Baxter testified.
Some in the gallery wept as they listened to the testimony. 
Baxter said Hyatt got up briefly, but collapsed. He said he tried giving her assistance, holding his hand over her hand, which was covering her neck. He testified that he then called 9-1-1.
Baxter said another boy held Hyatt while Baxter ran down the street to look for the ambulance.
"They missed the road," he said.
What seemed to begin as a friendly party environment turned, Baxter said, when it was suggested that the accused was seen kissing someone other than her boyfriend. Baxter said, in testimony that others have repeated, that the accused and a boy at the party argued in the street outside the party. Baxter said Hyatt tried to separate the two before she and the accused engaged in a profane, boistrous argument. From there, Baxter testified, Hyatt and the accused exchanged shoves and punches.
"Then they started rolling on the ground and punching each other," Baxter said.
The jury also heard testimony from the coroner who performed the autopsy on Hyatt, saying that the teen died of substantial blood loss. Dr. Richard Currie testified that a knife wound to the right side of the teen's neck cut an artery and penetrated her right lung. 
"There was massive blood loss, leading to shock, causing the body to shut down," Currie said.
Currie said he saw a large stab wound above Hyatt's right collarbone, as well as several smaller wounds on her right cheek, right earlobe and hairline. He termed the smaller wounds "superficial" and did not cause Hyatt's death. After the jury received notebooks that contained photographs of the autopsy, Currie said the knife partially cut an artery, then penetrated the right lung, causing the lung to collapse. When Crown Counsel Murray Kaay showed Currie what is alleged to be the murder weapon, Currie said that the blade is consistent with the type of wounds on Hyatt's body.
The trial resumes today. It is expected that the defence with begin its case.

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