UPDATED: Witness to assault calls accused Penticton man 'dangerous'
A "dangerous" and "violent" man is how a witness described a Penticton man accused of an assault in 2011.
"I remember seeing the blade poking into Kenny's stomach in his left side, there was a hole. I saw where he stabbed him," recalled Christine McDonald while on the stand at the Penticton courthouse on Tuesday. "He just went mental and attacked Kenny."
She was speaking of Kevin Woods who was arrested and charged with the assault of Kenny Robertson along with charges of assault causing bodily harm and possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose on July 13, 2011. RCMP were called to the apartment complex on 130 Skaha Place shortly before 4 p.m. because of an altercation between two residents that left Robertson with a knife wound and bruises.
McDonald, who lived across the hallway from Woods in the apartment building, said she had called 911 that day. It was from inside her apartment that she initially heard her friend Robertson, who she has known for more than a decade, talking in the hallway.
"I heard noises and Kenny in the hallway talking about a cigarette and asking Kevin for one. Then I heard Kenny say leave my little sister alone," she testified, later adding Robertson often referred to her as his little sister.
McDonald looked out her peephole before opening her apartment door and said she saw Woods "lunge" towards Robertson and stab him in the abdomen. She said Woods laughed as he trailed the knife along the hallway wall leaving a scratch mark that was later documented by RCMP. Mcdonald said Woods then began beating Robertson, who had fallen to the floor in a fetal position, with a foot-long piece of rebar on his back and legs.
"It was nuts. I have never seen anything like it in my life," said McDonald, who recalled Robertson being hit at least four times with the rebar. "I was scared. I was horrified."
Next she said Woods ran down the hall towards the elevator and eventually Robertson left towards another exit. McDonald said Woods then returned to his apartment before he was arrested by RCMP.
On cross-examination by defence counsel Andrew Vandersluys, the court heard McDonald was an addict at the time of the incident — with cocaine and crack being her drug of choice. Mcdonald had testified earlier she had been clean for almost two years and was now taking courses to become a counsellor. She also admitted that prior to getting clean she had consumed cocaine with Robertson on occasion but she did not use the day of the incident. Vandersluys also drew out of the witness that Robertson had a no-contact order with McDonald since last summer because of an incident of him being violent towards her, even though she earlier testified she had not spoke with Robertson since the assault.
Robertson took the stand late Tuesday and again on Wednesday morning stating he was drinking that day but was not "blasted" and did not know what sparked the assault. VanderSluys suggested to Robertson that he had a knife and was the one that initiated a confrontation with Woods to defend his "little sisters" honour. Robertson said he had gone to the second floor to simply buy a cigarette off a friend down the hall.
"I had nothing to do with no knife ... that is a lie, a total lie. I had no weapons," said Robertson, who added he has been clean of drugs for about two years.
Vandersluys also questioned the man about the statement he made to RCMP after the incident where he claimed to have a second-degree blackbelt and that Woods was "lucky I was drinking at the time. I would have ripped his head off." Robertson said the claim he held a blackbelt was exaggerated, but he did put his arm around the neck of Woods at one point during the scuffle.
"I grabbed him and threw him down. I was trying to save my bacon, which I think anyone in that situation would," said Robertson.
Woods was excused by his counsel early on Wednesday morning because he was feeling ill. Judge Meg Shaw, adjourned the trial for a one day continuation with three witnesses remaining to be questioned.