Nehass trial moves into second week

A witness who says she was in the apartment when Michael Nehass attacked a Watson Lake woman testified she begged for the victim's life.

A witness who says she was in the apartment when Michael Nehass attacked a Watson Lake woman testified she begged for the victim’s life.

Kathleen Bailey was on the stand Friday at the Yukon Supreme Court jury trial of Nehass, who is facing five charges including assault with a weapon and forcible confinement.

Bailey told the jury she had been cleaning around the apartment building she managed on the evening of Dec. 21, 2011.

Her ex-husband, who was visiting at the time, was also there, she said.

When she returned to her unit for a break, Agnes Reid came through her unlocked door. Nehass was behind her, Bailey told the jury.

Bailey testified that Nehass hit Reid a few times and grabbed her by the throat.

At one point, Bailey told the jury, Nehass pulled out a small knife and threatened to stab or cut Reid with it.

Bailey testified that Nehass was ranting and raving while she begged for Reid’s life.

After the attack was over, Nehass said, “I’m going to let you live bitch, because of my aunt,” Bailey testified.

Nehass calls her “Auntie Kathy,” she said, though at that time she hadn’t seen him since he was two years old.

After both Reid and Nehass left, Bailey said she was shaken and locked the door. She went to get her youngest daughter who was visiting a neighbour, she said.

Two police officers arrived about 30 or 45 minutes after the attack, but she didn’t tell them what happened.

Bailey testified she feared for her daughter Lacey, who was friends with Nehass’s sister at the time.

She has since left Watson Lake and now lives in Whitehorse. She said she hasn’t seen Nehass since the alleged attack.

The jury has already heard that police did not take a statement from Bailey until early January.

Under cross examination, Bailey said she doesn’t remember giving a statement on January 5, 2012 – 16 days after the alleged attack. She said she may have done so, but doesn’t remember.

Nehass, 31, is representing himself during the trial. The court has also appointed a lawyer to help him.

Nehass began his cross examination of Bailey on Friday. He questioned whether it was reasonable for Bailey to pick up her daughter, who was four years old at the time, from the neighbour and bring her back to the scene of the crime.

Bailey responded that it wasn’t her or her daughter who was being threatened, it was Reid.

Nehass is expected to continue cross examining Bailey today.

He denies all the charges.

Reid testified early last week that Nehass dragged her up the stairs and into Bailey’s apartment.

There, she alleged, he hit her, choked her and held a knife to her throat.

The jury has seen pictures of red marks on Reid’s neck. Other than that, she sustained no serious physical injuries.

No weapon was ever found and no complaints came to the RCMP about noise that day, the jury has heard.

Bibhas Vaze, a lawyer appointed to assist in the trial, argued last week that Reid made up the whole story.

The trial was originally scheduled to be completed last week. It is set to resume this morning. It’s being overseen by Justice Scott Brooker.

Contact Ashley Joannou at

ashleyj@yukon-news.com