A trial in BC Supreme Court in Vernon is being conducted almost entirely in French.
That’s because the accused doesn’t speak English.
The judge, lawyers, clerk, and even the sheriff are all bilingual.
The only part in English is the witnesses who’s testimony goes through an interpreter.
Maurice Taillon has plead not guilty to charges of aggravated assault and assault with a weapon.
It’s alleged Taillon stabbed then 36 year old Spallumcheen resident Cameron Ormiston in the chest back in November 2014 after the victim had invited the homeless man into his house on Mcleod Road for a hot shower, a meal, and a place to stay the night.
The stabbing allegedly occurred after the host tried to kick Taillon out of his house after a few drinks, and he refused to go to bed.
Cst. Kyle Eadie of Armstrong RCMP was the Crown’s first witness.
He was on duty when police were dispatched to the Armstrong 7-11 on Smith Drive at 1:16 am Nov. 13, 2014.
Eadie says he saw a white van in the parking lot when he got there.
“I went to the passenger side and found a male compressing his upper left chest. He said he had been stabbed in that area.”
An ambulance was on the way, and the constable noted there were two other people in the van, a man and woman.
Eadie says he also attended to 1402 McLeod Road in Spallumcheen where the alleged incident happened, a rural property with a farm house and outbuildings.
He says while waiting for the dog unit to arrive, he noticed a bicycle with a buggy at the intersection of McLeod Road and Upper McLeod Road. The buggy had clothing and other articles in it.
Eadie arrested a suspect, Mr. Taillon, the next morning.
He was off shift when he heard the reports of the suspect being spotted near the Armstrong Inn.
He says he put his police uniform back on, got in a police car and went to that area, where he saw a male fitting the description in the parking lot: an male in his 50’s, with white hair, a beard, who was said to be a homeless person, wearing a large overcoat, and named Maurice.
“I exited the car and called out ‘Maurice’, which he acknowledged, and I placed him under arrest.”
The officer identified Taillon as the man sitting in the accused box in the courtroom.
“I chartered him, and identified him by his name and date of birth.”
The bicycle was later seized as evidence.
Under cross examination by the defence lawyer Sandra Mandanici, the constable confirmed the injured man in the van was Cameron Ormiston.
Eadie also said Taillon did not try to run away and was cooperative when he encountered him in the parking lot.
The judge in the case is Miriam Maisonville, while Sarah Firestone is representing the Crown.
The trial is scheduled to last five days.