Trial begins for homeless man accused of North Okanagan stabbing | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Trial begins for homeless man accused of North Okanagan stabbing

September 11, 2017 - 1:51 PM

VERNON - After inviting a homeless man back to his home for a hot meal, shower and a place to sleep, a 39-year-old man says he was stabbed in the chest and rushed to hospital.

Cameron Ormiston testified that he ran into Maurice Taillon on Nov. 13, 2014 outside a liquor store in Armstrong.

Taillon’s Vernon Supreme Court trial for aggravated assault and assault with a weapon began Monday, Sept. 11. He is being defended by Vancouver-based lawyer Sandra Mandanici and pleaded not guilty to both counts. The trial is being held in French, with an interpreter on hand to translate testimony given in English.

Ormiston, who had met Taillon once before in Vernon and shared a cigarette with him, testified that he sat and drank with him in the sun behind the Village Cheese Factory until about 2 p.m. on the day of the offence. Ormiston recalled that it was sunny out, although it was roughly -17 C and there was a cold weather warning.

“I asked Maurice if he wanted to come with me and told him I’d cook him some food. I just didn’t have the heart to know he was sleeping outside in the cold. So I offered to make him some food and give him a warm place to sleep for the night and he could have a shower if he wanted to,” Ormiston said.

Ormiston was staying at his ex-wife’s rental suite on Upper McLeod Road, and she was not pleased that he brought Taillon home.

“She wasn’t too thrilled about it, but she she was running late for work so she didn’t have time to deal with the situation,” Ormiston said.

Ormiston cooked dinner — pork tenderloin and potatoes — for Taillon and another friend who was also there.

At some point in the night, Ormiston sold a black, eight-inch knife to Taillon for five dollars.

The three ate, drank, and sang along to a guitar throughout the evening. Later, after Ormiston went to sleep and his ex-wife got home, Taillon became “obnoxious”.

“He was just making a raucus, talking, making noise, walking around the house, not settling….” Ormiston says. “He was talking loud and I remember he was stabbing a knife into Lisa’s coffee table in the living room.”

Eventually, Ormiston told Taillon he had to go and managed to get him out the door.

“I know he didn’t want to leave. When we were outside he was worried about his bike (at the end of the driveway). He wanted to go to the liquor store,” Ormiston says.

While attempting to escort him off the property, Taillon reached into his pocket, pulled out a knife, and “with both hands drove… a knife into my left abdomen,” Ormiston said.

“I was quite shocked and stunned and I could feel blood coming out of my abdomen,” he said.

His friend went back to the house to call 911 and get a vehicle, while Ormiston staggered back towards the home. They met an ambulance at 7-Eleven and Ormiston was rushed to Vernon Jubilee Hospital, where he had surgery and stayed for three days.

Police found Taillon the following day and arrested him.

During her direct examination, Crown counsel Sarah Firestone took time to outline Ormiston’s criminal record, which dates back to 2003, and includes convictions for drinking and driving, break and enter and breaching court conditions.

Ormiston testified that he has struggled for years with an opioid addiction, and has previously been homeless himself due to addiction.

The trial continues this week before Justice Miriam Maisonville. 

To contact a reporter for this story, email Charlotte Helston or call 250-309-5230 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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