The two youths accused of killing South Surrey mechanic Paul Prestbakmo are to learn today (May 18) if they will be convicted in the case.
Judge Robert Hamilton is to render his verdict this morning in Surrey Provincial Court.
Prestbakmo’s friends and family members plan to gather outside of the courthouse prior to the decision, in a show of support and love.
Prestbakmo died just before 3:30 a.m. on Aug. 16, 2019. Over the course of the trial – which got underway in January and concluded on March 8 – Hamilton heard that the 45-year-old was stabbed 42 times during an altercation in a commercial parking lot at the southwest corner of 18 Avenue and 152 Street.
He had stepped outside to take out some garbage and have a cigarette.
Multiple witnesses gave evidence, including that Prestbakmo was stabbed in the chest, abdomen, back, neck and left arm during the attack, and, that it occurred just a few hours after a White Rock senior suffered injuries consistent with an assault.
Charges of second-degree murder were announced against two youths – aged 15 and 16 at the time – a month after Prestbakmo’s death. Charges of aggravated assault in connection with the senior’s injuries were announced against the same teens a month after that, in October 2019.
Due to their ages, the identities of the accused are protected by a publication ban.
During closing submissions, Crown counsel described the stabbing of Prestbakmo as “intense and ferocious,” and said those who inflicted the wounds knew that they could cause death, or injuries that could lead to death. The accused, said Louise Kenworthy, were co-perpetrators in both incidents and should be held equally responsible.
Defence counsel submitted that evidence did not prove who inflicted the wounds that caused Prestbakmo’s death and that the one accused who confessed to the crime – claiming it was gang-related – was simply not believable.
Kevin Westell told Hamilton that his client’s “conflicting, fantastical” statements as to why he and another teen attacked Prestbakmo “should cause your honour to really pause before accepting any of the evidence that comes out of my client’s mouth.”