March 28, 2013 - 6:51 PM
By Shannon Quesnel
A Penticton man was found guilty in Penticton Provincial Court today of stabbing another man three times in an ongoing argument.
Judge Gale Sinclair declared Joshua Rex Mason guilty of aggravated assault in the stabbing of Penticton resident Clayton Bonthoux on July 27 at the victim's home at 296 Power St. The attack marked the end of a two-day argument between the two men.
Mason will remain in custody until he is sentenced on June 19.
Crown lawyer Vern Frolick and defense lawyer Michael Welsh spent four days cross-examining Bonthoux, Mason and other people present at the home as well as several police officers and two hockey school employees who were nearby when the attack took place.
Sinclair said the evidence was “all over the map.”
On July 26, Bonthoux said he found Mason and a woman named Crystal in his home during a house party. Mason and Crystal were disruptive and everyone wanted them to leave. Mason admitted to removing a toilet seat. Bonthoux hit him and threw him off of his property. Samantha Clark was a witness who said she removed Crystal from the scene.
Mason said he wanted to settle a rent dispute. Bonthoux said he did not know what Mason was talking about. The two men never talked about rent and money never changed hands, Bonthoux said. Mason said Bonthoux owed him money. The stabbing victim said that was not true.
Bonthoux said on July 27 he was told by the welfare office Mason allegedly forged his signature on an intent-to-rent form. Later that day, Mason returned to Bonthoux's home and again was told to leave, was struck, then thrown out. Mason denied he told someone else he wanted to stab Bonthoux.
Mason visited Pat Struyk, who knows Bonthoux and discussed the situation. Mason said Struyk grabbed a butcher's knife and handed Mason a smaller knife. The two men left to confront Bonthoux when the stabbing occurred. Blood immediately spurted out and covered the victim's chest. Mason said he was only defending himself as Bonthoux threw a punch at him across the fence. The judge did not believe Mason was defending himself.
Sinclair repeated Mason's own words: “I put my arm up and my knife went up and down into (Bonthoux). I just reacted. I had no intent to hurt anybody.”
Sinclair said DNA taken from the blood on the knife matched Bonthoux's and a DNA sample from the handle matched Mason. He said there's no question Bonthoux was stabbed.
“He went back to even the score,” the judge said of Mason's intent. “All witnesses saw some sort of a punch. This punch contained a knife. It was no accident.”
Frolick pointed out Mason's 36 prior convictions and suggested Mason be psychologically examined.
The Crown lawyer also said his office will consider getting Mason labeled a dangerous long-term offender.
To contact a reporter for this story, email Shannon Quesnel at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 250-488-3065.
News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2013