Dustin Paxton's Prairie torture trial over
Closing arguments finished, judgment date to be set Dec. 16
The defence team in the Dustin Paxton trial wrapped up its final arguments Friday after three days of trying to poke holes in the testimony of more than 40 witnesses.
The date for judgment will be set on Dec. 16.
Paxton, 31, is on trial for the physical and sexual assault and forcible confinement of his former roommate and business partner. He has pleaded not guilty.
Defence lawyers took aim at the alleged victim Friday in their closing arguments, saying he may have come across as credible but his testimony should be considered unreliable.
A month ago the alleged victim — who cannot be identified due to a publication ban — arrived at Calgary court and told a story of horrifying abuse. Permanently disfigured, and shielded from the accused, he testified that he was physically and sexually assaulted by his friend from October 2008 to April 2010.
But Paxton's lawyer Jim Lutz told the court the victim was unable to say when or where the attacks occurred. He said the victim replied several times under cross-examination, "I don't know, I can't recall."
Lutz said that makes it "extremely difficult for the court to assess the reliability of the victim's testimony."
The alleged victim, weighing less than 90 pounds, was dropped off at a hospital in Regina in April 2010.
Application could halt legal proceedings
As for his claims that he was sexually assaulted, the alleged victim testified that Paxton always made it clear what he wanted. Lutz countered by saying the alleged victim admitted that Paxton never touched him and he never asked the victim for sexual acts.
Lutz said there were, "No actions, no gestures, no words spoken, no threats."
The defence also said the testimony from Robert Cannon, one of the Crown's key witnesses was unsubstantiated, uncorroborated lies.
Cannon, 25, who worked with Paxton and his alleged victim at a moving company they owned, told the court that he saw Paxton hit the man with a metre-long bamboo stick.
He also told the court that he moved out of the house they all shared because he was afraid for his own life.
Cannon also testified that Paxton choked him and threatened to kill him, but he didn't mention the incident in a statement to police.
The nine-week trial is now over, but it's still not known when Court of Queen's Bench Justice Sheilah Martin will deliver her verdict, with the date for judgment to be set on Dec. 16.
She first has to rule on a defence motion to have her removed from the case.
The defence wants a different judge to hear its stay of proceedings application, which is scheduled for next week. If the stay is granted, the legal proceedings against Paxton would be halted.
Paxton's lawyers say their client did not get a fair trial. They claim to have video evidence that police coached witnesses who testified against Paxton during the trial.