James Rajbhandari's 2nd-degree murder trial for death of Wyatt Lewis begins

Crown tells jury it will prove James Rajbhandari murdered Wyatt Lewis in opening statement at murder trial.

'Someone brought a knife to a fist fight,' Crown prosecutor says in opening arguments

Wyatt Lewis, a father of four, was stabbed to death in September 2012 in what the prosecution says is a case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. (Family photo)

The night before he was stabbed to death, Wyatt Lewis celebrated his grandmother's 90th birthday. 

Lewis' brother says he was first and foremost a family man and that's how the father of four should be remembered. 

"He dedicated his life to his boys and his daughter, his wife," said James Carmichael. "He was my best friend."

On Monday, the second-degree murder trial for James Rajbhandari got underway. He is accused of stabbing Lewis five times at a party in 2012.

James Carmichael says his brother, Wyatt Lewis, was his best friend. (Meghan Grant/CBC)

It's a case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time, according to Crown prosecutor Marta Juzwiak's opening statement to the jury.

"Someone brought a knife to a fist fight — a fist fight Wyatt Lewis wasn't even a part of — and, without any apparent justification, that person thrust a knife into Lewis' heart."

Lewis died on Sept. 1, 2012. He'd been out with an old friend when the pair were invited to a party at an apartment building on 16th Avenue N.W.

A fight broke out between a couple of the party-goers, people were ordered out of the apartment and, in the chaos of a mass exodus, Lewis was stabbed, according to the prosecution's opening address.

When police interviewed Rajbhandari, he had fresh cuts on his hands, says Juzwiak.

A second man was also stabbed but survived.

The trial is expected to last two weeks.

James Rajbhandari was arrested and charged with second-degree murder several months after Wyatt Lewis was killed. (CBC)


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