Thirty months after Derek Descoteau, a 20-year-old Chemainus man, was stabbed to death, the murder trial for the man accused of killing him has begun.
Colin John is facing a charge of second-degree murder in the death of Descoteau and a second count of attempted murder in connection with an attack on Janelle Guyatt, Descoteau’s girlfriend.
John was charged following a bloody attack in May of 2016 at a residence on Caswell Street. Descoteau and Guyatt were both stabbed several times with Descoteau dying en route to hospital. Guyatt suffered five knife wounds and spent two weeks in hospital. She is still undergoing treatment for a serious injury that has limited the use of one arm.
On Monday, Guyatt was the first witness called by Crown counsel Ken Paziuk.
Now 18, Guyatt said she and Descoteau were having lunch and watching a movie shortly after noon when a stranger appeared in the basement suite belonging to Derek.
She then described the attack.
Asked by Paziuk if she could identify her attacker, Guyatt turned in the witness box and pointed directly at John who was seated in the prisoner’s box.
Throughout the day, John sat motionless in the box, his head bowed.
Before Guyatt took the stand, John’s lawyer Scott Sheets and Crown counsel Paziuk informed Justice Lisa Warren that John had requested that he be tried by judge alone, rather than by judge and jury.
Warren agreed to the change and John quietly entered not guilty pleas to both charges.
John appeared heavier than he had been at the time of his arrest in May of 2016. He arrived in court wearing leg irons and a red Vancouver Island Regional Correctional Centre jumpsuit.