Jury finds Penticton man guilty of aggravated assault

Penticton courthouse news - submitted
Penticton courthouse news
— image credit: submitted

A jury has found Steven Cameron guilty on two counts of aggravated assault for stabbing two Penticton men.

After deliberating since about noon on Friday, the jury reached a guilty verdict on both counts just before 9 p.m. that evening. The 21-year-old was taken into custody after his bail was revoked following the Supreme Court decision at the Penticton courthouse.

“Everyone was tearful, his whole family was there and I don’t think there was many dry eyes,” said defence council Don Skogstad.

It was during a Halloween party at a residence in the 500 block of Edmonton Avenue on Oct. 30, 2010 that Cameron got into a verbal argument with a close friend, Derek Robertson, that escalated to punches. A third man, Cody McNeil, jumped between the two to stop his friends from fighting.

In the few seconds between the fight starting and being broken up, both McNeil and Robertson had been stabbed. Robertson got the brunt of the attack, suffering five stab wounds, while McNeil was stabbed twice. Both men were have since recovered from their injuries.

Skogstad said they are unlikely to appeal the decision.

“It is not possible for house arrest for this kind of charge and with his bail being revoked we anticipate jail. The Crown had mentioned federal time is possible earlier today,” said Skogstad.

Both Cameron and Robertson had consumed alcohol at the party. McNeil testified he had not been drinking that day but all three had been doing cocaine. Cameron said he had acted in self defence and that Robertson was choking him to the point he couldn’t breathe. The jury heard that Cameron had a history of being picked on and he testified that he had been scared when Robertson was choking him.

McNeil did not mention anything in his testimony about seeing Cameron being choked but said there had been some sort of argument and both men exchanged punches.

Crown counsel John Swanson said in his closing arguments on Thursday that it was not believable that Robertson was a threat to Cameron. Swanson also argued Cameron’s timeline of the events does not fit as he would have had to have been choked out long enough that he would have feared for his life, pulled the spring-loaded knife out of his pocket, flung it open and stabbed the two men within a matter of seconds.

A pre-sentence report has been requested before sentencing is to take place on April 29.

*** This story has been edited for a correction***

- It was previously reported "Cody McNeil said Robertson had told Cameron to leave his house on at least two occasions but he did not comply." This was inaccurate. McNeil did not hear Robertson ask Cameron to leave the party. In closing arguments of the trial, Crown counsel said Robertson testified he had asked Cameron to leave the party.

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