A phone seized from a young Ottawa man accused of fatally stabbing another teen during a prom night fight showed web searches looking for information on the fatal stabbing, details about criminal sentencing and whether a Canadian can move to Jamaica.
- Court watches interrogation of accused in prom night killing
- Knife likely cause of fatal wound to Brandon Volpi's heart, court hears
Devontay Hackett, now 21, was 18 when police arrested him in Toronto more than a month after 18-year-old Brandon Volpi was fatally stabbed on June 7, 2014, outside Les Suites Hotel on Besserer Street at an after-prom party.
Ottawa police forensic cellphone expert Michel Villeneuve, the Crown's last witness at Hackett's second-degree murder trial, detailed in an Ottawa courtroom Monday what texts, phone calls and web searches were found on a phone Hackett had on him when he was arrested.
Among the hundreds of web searches, police found more than half a dozen searches of Ottawa news stories detailing reaction to Volpi's death and his funeral.
Search for 'can a Canadian move to Jamaica'
A week after the teen's death, the phone contained a news story search on how Hackett was wanted in connection to the prom night murder.
Three days later the phone revealed a Google search: "can a Canadian move to Jamaica?"
On June 28, the phone had searches on another 18-year-old Ottawa man charged with second-degree murder after a teen was stabbed outside a nightclub in 2013.
That same day police found another Google search: "Ontario criminal law sentencing."
Defence witness says another man had knife
Later on Monday the defence began its case with the testimony of a student there that night who said another teen attacked Volpi with a knife.
Danielle Saunders Gauthier travelled from her home in Uganda to testify on behalf of the accused.
She said she knew Hackett through mutual friends and said Volpi was an acquaintance. All three went to proms that night but she left when the dinner was over to work a shift at a bar.
Later that night she went to pick up a friend at Les Suites hotel and realized an "altercation" was going on outside.
Witness points to another man
She said she looked out the window and saw a "dark skinned" man with a white T-shirt and a black hat swing at Volpi.
The witness said the attacker "was holding a weapon in his hand and it looked like a knife."
When defence lawyer Joe Addelman asked her if it was Hackett, she said no, because although the man with the knife had his back to her she saw his arms and his skin was darker than Hackett's.
On cross-examination Saunders-Gauthier admitted she never saw the knife the man was brandishing connect with Volpi's body.
But she said she was certain it was a knife because it was "silver-coloured and narrow."