On the stand Tuesday at provincial court in St. John's, the young woman said she couldn’t remember much about what happened the night her friend’s boyfriend was stabbed, even though she had been there to witness it.
There were a number of people drinking at the apartment that night last August, she said, and she had been sitting on the couch when a fight broke out, but she couldn’t remember the details.
“I know he got stabbed. I just don’t know who did it,” the girl, 17, testified a few months ago.
In a video-recorded interview she gave to police investigators hours after the stabbing, which was played in court Tuesday, the girl was far clearer on the details and adamant about whom she saw doing the stabbing.
“I don’t even need to see the pictures,” she told police as they prepared to show her a photo lineup of suspects. “It was definitely Devon.”
The video interview is the main piece of evidence in the Crown’s case against Devon Joy, 20, who has pleaded not guilty to charges of aggravated assault and assault with a weapon in connection with the stabbing of Brad Follett at a house party on Rotary Drive in St. John’s a year ago.
Dylan Walsh, 21, was also charged with aggravated assault, but the charge was later downgraded to common assault after he admitted he had kicked Follett. Walsh received a 30-day jail sentence.
Police had been called to the home shortly before 5 a.m. and were greeted by tenants of the upstairs apartment. The tenants said there had been some kind of a fight in the downstairs residence, and there was a mention of a knife. A girl had been thrown out of the apartment partially nude and had run up to their place screaming, they said.
Inside the downstairs apartment, police found a mess of beer bottles and garbage, a blood smear on the wall, and two men, including Follett, who had serious stab wounds to his chest and neck.
While the other man was adamant Follett go to hospital, Follett said, “I’m best kind, I just need a beer,” an RNC officer testified.
Follett declined to give a written statement to police, saying multiple people had assaulted him, but he didn’t know who they were. At trial he told the court the same thing.
Since the girl said she couldn’t remember what had happened, prosecutor Jeff Summers successfully applied to bring in the recording of her interview with police.
In it, the girl told two investigators she and some friends were at the apartment, drinking with Joy and his brother as well as Walsh and Follett. By about 2 a.m. there were only five of them left. The girl said she had been sitting on the couch and had started falling asleep when the fight broke out.
“I remember I opened my eyes and I seen someone get stabbed. It was Devon that stabbed Brad,” she said. “I stood up, grabbed Devon and flicked him away from Brad, then I ran out of the house. I guess everyone (upstairs) heard screaming and everything because they were outside. The people upstairs called police. That’s pretty much it.
“I’m still trying to figure out how this happened because I just opened my eyes and saw him get stabbed and then everyone ran away.”
The girl told police Follett was on the ground and Joy was standing over him, stabbing him with a black-handled knife while Walsh kicked him.
Joy’s brother was trying to break up the fight, she said, yelling at Joy to stop because “Brad was best kind, he didn’t do anything.”
Up until that point, everyone had been getting along, she said.
The girl said she had seen the knife earlier, when Joy had taken it out of his pants, telling her the “machete” had almost fallen out of his pocket.
At the end of the police interview, which lasted more than an hour, the girl asked, “Will these people know that I told you what happened?” Investigators reminded her of what they had told her at the start, explaining for a second time that if she was called to testify but changed her statement or claimed not to remember the incident, the video could be presented as evidence.
“Will it be played at the trial?” she asked.
“Could be,” one of the officers responded.
Summers rested his case Tuesday, and defense lawyer Ken Mahoney indicated he would not be calling any witnesses.