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Victim recounts stabbing attack at Kevin Mantla trial

On Thursday, the survivor of a vicious attack that happened nearly two years ago in Yellowknife testified in court.

Victim says Mantla called her on day of attack and said 'you guys are gonna die'

Kevin Mantla is pictured at the courthouse in Yellowknife on Jan. 25, 2018. He is charged with second-degree murder, attempted murder and aggravated assault. (Randall McKenzie/CBC)

The survivor of a brutal attack that happened more than two years ago testified in court Thursday at the trial of Kevin Mantla. 

Mantla is accused of murdering Elvis Lafferty and attempting to kill Lafferty's partner, who is also Mantla's ex-girlfriend, at a Yellowknife apartment on Sept. 27, 2015.

The ex-girlfriend, whose identity is protected by a publication ban, appeared in court by video and testified that Mantla called her repeatedly that morning. Records show Mantla made four collect calls to her landline between 8:39 a.m. and 8:44 a.m. 

Court heard that she called him later that day to tell him she was dating someone and to stop harassing her.

She said she was disturbed by the call "because he said that he's going to go after me and [Elvis]."

According to the woman, Mantla called her at home again around 4 p.m.

"He said that he's going to fly in that day and he said that he's going to go after me and Elvis," she said, adding he said  "you guys are gonna die."

Mantla flew from Gameti, where he lived, to Yellowknife that same day.

The night of the attack 

She was in an apartment with Lafferty, Lafferty's parents and three of her children that night. 

The four adults fell asleep in the master bedroom while the kids watched television in the living room, she said. 

It was just constant stabs ... I was so weak at that point. I couldn't breath.- Woman testified in court 

She said Mantla broke into her apartment and attacked them.

"He had a knife and he was attacking Elvis on his front body. I started running."

She said Mantla caught up with her in the hallway, adding they struggled over a knife and she fell down.

"It was just constant stabs," she told the court. "I was so weak at that point. I couldn't breath."

The woman testified that Mantla wounded the top of her head, her left leg, above her shoulders, her arm, stomach and chest.

Eventually, Mantla left and Lafferty's parents fled with two of the children to call the police. 

Lafferty was pronounced dead at hospital and the woman was transported to Edmonton for surgery. 

Defence questions memory 

During the cross examination, the defence questioned the woman's memory of the incident.

She told the court she had not been drinking, but defence lawyer Charles Davison said the hospital found alcohol in her blood that night.

When asked if she was surprised by this, she answered "no."

The defence also argued she told police differing accounts of how Mantla had threatened her when interviewed in 2015.

According to police transcripts from Oct. 12, 2015, she told officers Mantla said "I'm going to go after you and Elvis" over the phone.

Davison also said the woman originally told police she couldn't remember certain details of the attack, such as her fighting back, but knew they happened because Lafferty's parents told her afterwards.

The trial continues Friday.

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